I’ve spent most of the day working on the world’s most bomb-proof and secure chicken coop, with special attention to the framing for the peak and gable. So far, so good.
And while I’ve been at work, I’ve been listening (on Audible) to C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. It’s his last novel, a book I read long ago, and one he dedicated to his wife, the poet Joy Davidman, who was to die of cancer a few years later.
I like to think (because perhaps it’s true) that Lewis dedicated this book, which is told from the female perspective, to Joy because she’d taught him something of the feminine heart. It was fashionable, for many years, to dismiss Lewis’s marriage as one of convenience–something it did have elements of in the beginning–but I defy anyone to read A Grief Observed, published after her death, and still propose that as an option. Or, you could watch the movie Shadowlands. Although romanticized and fictionalized, Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger are superb as the introverted, bookish Lewis and his loudmouth American love interest. A sweet little film. You go, Debra Winger, for doing it without makeup and for looking like an ordinary, non-Hollywood, non-celebrity, aging woman. You’re beautiful.
Anyhoo, the Audible version of the book, which is read by Wanda McCaddon, is lovely. I don’t know much about Wanda, but she puts her all into the delivery which is marred (IMHO) only by her tendency to give the elderly sages in the story a strong Scots accent. Not sure why. Perhaps she’s watched too many episodes of Outlander. Still. Whatever.
In any event, Lewis’s book, which is his retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, wasn’t what really got me going on this post. It might be the subject of another one, but not now.
What got me going on this post is “faces,” and the line from the novel in which one of the characters says, “How can the gods meet us face-to-face, till we have faces?”
I ask, rather, “how can we meet each other, face-to-face, till we have faces?
Starting today, in Pennsylvania, we have faces.
The mask mandates are lifted. The capacity restrictions are lifted. Life is returning to the old normal. And I, for one, am glad of it.
This morning, I took myself to breakfast at a favorite regional chain. Then I went to Home Depot to pick up some bits and pieces for my chicken coop project. Then to Giant Eagle to pick up sundry groceries.
Everywhere, I saw faces! Smiling faces. Frowning faces. Faces that looked directly at me. Faces that looked away. Happy faces. Sad faces.
I will not succumb to despair. I will not give in to fear.
We have faces. Here is mine: