1.15.2009

some thoughts about affection from c. s. lewis

i picked up the four loves by c. s. lewis to read a little before bed—reading sometimes helps me fall asleep more quickly. i've read a lot of it before, and i really wanted to re-read some of the things that i recalled from it. this is the paragraph i was looking for in particular. it's from the chapter titled "affection".

"'dogs and cats should always be brought up together,' said someone, 'it broadens their minds so.' affection broadens ours; of all natural loves it is the most catholic, the least finical, the broadest. the people with whom you are thrown together in the family, the college, the mess, the ship, the religious house, are from this point of view a wider circle than the friends, however numerous, whom you have made for yourself in the outer world. by having a great many friends i do not prove that i have a wide appreciation of human excellence. you might as well say i prove the width of my literary taste by being able to enjoy all the books in my own study. the answer is the same in both cases -- 'you chose those books. you chose those friends. of course they suit you.' the truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop. the truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day. in my experience it is affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who 'happen to be there.' made for us? thank God, no. they are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed."

this is a good book -- a very interesting look at affection, friendship, eros and charity. if you've not read it yet, i recommend it.

9 comments:

Claire said...

"odder than you could have guessed and worth far more than you realised"... brilliant!

i am also busy with it at present.

as for you... i would not exactly say odd but worthwhile, very definitely!

xox

O. Joy said...

CS Lewis is such a fabulous writer - his viewpoints always make me think. I hadn't heard of this book before!! I'll have to check it out!! thanks!

Char said...

Gorgeous shot!!! Love the thoughts about affection and I've been thinking a lot lately about charity.

great recommendation.

Bridge&JJ said...

I will be picking this book up. Well ordering it from my lovely b&N.com.

Jamie said...

I'm having a lot of "affection" for this picture Georgia. I've never captured a shadow quite as lovely as this one.

Jimmy-Boy said...

i love that book. i have a chapter to go...soooooo good.

essentially that paragraph fills out where my life has gone, i think. after 37 years of primarily choosing and being surrounded by like-minded, like-looking, etc., i had to find the other.

now my library, both figuratively and literally, is filled with the other, and i'm all the better for it.

Georgia B. said...

thanks, Claire. i did not take the "odd" from his writing as meaning an odd person, rather an odd or unusual friendship, i guess. but, i'm glad you do not find me odd. :)

Joy, i agree with you. he is one of my favorite, if not my favorite author.

thank you, Char. i'm glad you like the photo.

Bridge&JJ, i hope you enjoy the book when you get it.

Jamie, coming from you, that is a great compliment! i blush when you compliment my photos. i can't wait to learn from you!

Jimmy-Boy, thanks for stopping by. i can't get to your blog to return the favor, but i wanted to let you know i appreciate the comment. i'm glad you are branching out and finding friends in unusual places. i have found that i made some of the best friends in my life through my blogs, and i would never have expected to make them, so this is why i liked this excerpt. i'm glad your library is growing.

Chris said...

I like the part about dogs and cats. I think it's true (although it's still a work in progress in our house).

I'm one of those people who have never had tons of friends, maybe only a handful of really good ones, but they are all very different and special to me in different ways.

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