In Alister McGrath’s luminous book C S Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet McGrath talks about Lewis’s role as a literary midwife (pp.197-200).
He was especially a midwife to Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings. Tolkien himself said that without Lewis’s ‘sheer encouragement’ he would never have finished his masterpiece. Tolkien said of Lewis ‘He was for long my only audience.’
I remember my history teacher at school coming to every practice of mine to teach me how to bowl left-arm spin in cricket, not just for my private joy but to try and break into the school team. Because he believed in me I believed in myself.
I remember when I worked in a bank and was wondering what to do with unneeded creativity, someone encouraged me to write every day. Really encouraged me. Cried at things I wrote (not in pain but joy).
Who is it that you can be a creative midwife to? Each person only needs an audience of one to begin with. It begins with helping a child to enjoy the process of creativity before the outcome. To simply revel in pens, ink, paper, colours, nature, our nine senses, the orchard of awareness that lies within.
A friend of mine Bruce Thompson posted this photo on Facebook. I was immediately taken to a place of wonder as I looked at it.
Alister McGrath in his beautiful book ‘C S Lewis A Life – Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet’ writes:
‘A central theme in the Chronicles of Narnia is that of a door into another world – a threshold that can be crossed, allowing us to enter a wonderful new realm and explore it.’ (p.269)
Each moment of our life is a threshold to different possibilities, including possibilities of wonder. Sometimes we need a photo, a painting, a poem, a story, a face, a beautiful view to remind us of this, to fill us again with hope.
This coming Friday is the 50th anniversary of the death of C S Lewis. Perhaps you could find the thresholds of wonder in your life by re-visiting, or visiting for the first time his stories.