03 September 2010

I'd write him a letter.

Listening to: Hello Seattle by Owl City. Still unsure if I like Owl City or not.
Line love: “The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing...For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited." C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)

If he was still alive, I would write him a letter. It would be a long letter, and I wouldn't try to sound too familiar because of how much I respect him. I'd ask him how his health was, inquire after any new books he was writing, ask him if he had any suggestions on reading material. At the end, I'd ask some advice. I'd ask him how to write well, how to pull my readers in and immerse them in my stories. I would ask him how I could write like him. I'd end with something polite, telling him how much I loved his books and how much they changed the way I looked at the world. And then I would mail it.

England is a long way away, and it would take a long time for my letter to get there. I would wait impatiently, checking the mail every morning. His reply would mean a lot to me.

Last night I heard a story about a woman who wrote him a letter when she was a girl. She was twelve years old, and he was dying. In his reply, he treated her like an equal. He told her how "us writers" have to stick together. He typed that letter, and included a handwritten note for her. He said that he was terribly sorry that he couldn't write his reply in his own hand, and explained that he was too ill.

I was born about 40 years too late. He died in November of '65.

If I could write him a letter now, I'd ask him if Heaven is like Narnia; if Lucy and Peter and Edmund are there. I would ask him why Susan stopped believing, and I would ask him if he really did meet George McDonald like the main character in the Great Divorce did. At the end of the letter, I would thank him. I would thank him for his books, for all the words that he wrote, the words that inspired so many people. I would thank him for his life.


  1. I like this. It's a cool idea to write to one of your favorite authors. If I could write to Jane Austen, I'd say, how on earth did you get your romance stories of old, completely buyable into today's world? Why are your men still so charming? And where can I get a Mr. Knightley? :)

  2. Though not a writer, I wonder the same things. You could add a PS, "you really taught my Aunt Jackie."

  3. I am so with you Katie - he is my most favorite writer. I think I could only write him and not speak to him face-to-face because I would be in such awe and tongue-tied.

  4. He wrote once that if you set out to create something truly original that you would always fail, but if you set out to tell the truth as best you could that you would often end up creating something original.

  5. I love this post! How awesome would it have been to get a letter from C.S. Lewis? One of my very favorite writers growing up. And I'd want to know if Heaven is like Narnia, too :)

  6. Love this! I have often dreamed of writing my favorite authors and historic heroes..
    I love your blog!

  7. Wow, I loved this post. Beautiful picture, too. It's like you said exactly what I'd like to say. :) I got a little teary when I read the part about Heaven being like Narnia.

    The words of C.S. Lewis have shaped my view of Heaven more than anything else in this world besides the Bible.


  8. Thank you so much for all the sweet comments. They mean a lot to me :)


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