Where do the Words Come From? Essay

2268 Words 10 Pages
My mother told me once, reluctantly, about how, when she was a small child, she knew how to fly. She said that sometimes, on the warm, lonely, summer afternoons that occur so frequently in the memories of a country childhood, she would lie down on the porch of my grandfather’s small farmhouse. She would lie there, feeling the rough, weathered boards press splinters into the skin of her back and legs and arms, and then she would close her eyes and be very still.

She would imagine what she looked like, lying there, as if she were a few feet above herself, and the more she could imagine this, the less she would feel the boards beneath her. Soon, she would cease to feel even the weight of her own body. She would float up then, away
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She did not want her mystically inclined son to make himself vulnerable to supernatural attack.

I had told her of my own, surreal memories of flying down the stairs of our old house without touching the steps and of the time that I had seen the eyes that looked malevolently at me out of empty space as I hid under the covers. She knew of the time that my brother’s toy horses had turned to look at me while I was sick in bed with pneumonia, and, most fearful of all, she knew that I would risk anything, if I thought it would get me to Narnia. I think that she finally told me about how she once could fly when she did, because she had read C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia as well, and she knew that I had passed the age of believing and Narnia was, therefore, forever closed to me.

Lewis’s seven stories of a magical world somewhere beyond our own have been a childhood staple since The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first published in 1950. Numerous writers of children’s books have sited the Chronicles as an influence on both their literary conceptions and story content. What Lewis created was a set of simple stories that stood alone on their own terms, but also told subtly of the existence of universal truths.

Lewis said that he never intended his tales of Narnia to be allegorical or didactic. Instead, he said that, one day, while he was daydreaming, an image popped into his head of a little girl walking through a

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