C.S. Lewis has that super famous quote about how friendship is born out of the moment when “one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'” I feel like I’ve been having that moment a lot. Oh, not with people- heavens no! What do you think I am- a social person? No, I’ve been having that moment with books. I feel like I’ve stepped into this beautiful book bubble (alliterations for days!) that I never want to leave. Like I’m in the middle of a book bender that hopefully lasts the rest of my life. Every book I’ve turned to recently has just gutted me in some deep, soul touching, genius way.
My whole life the idea of “nothing new under the sun” used to kind of depress me. Like no matter what I do or say, it’s already been done or said, so what’s the point (This is alluded to in my praise for the song Move On a few weeks back)? In recent weeks though, I’ve started to find a lot of solace in that idea. In her book His Thoughts Said… His Father Said Amy Carmichael writes a beautiful few lines I think could help comfort those struggling to vocalize their confusions or pains (Carmichael was a Christian writer so this specifically is focused on how to worship God, but I think it is a tried and true passage for people learning to voice their hardships). It is as follows:
The son greatly wished to make a song of Lovely Things to sing to his Beloved, but he could not find singing-words. Then he heard a voice saying, Thou are walking in the road where all My lovers walked, and some of them walked singing. They have left their songs behind them. Find them. Sing them. They will be thine to Me.
While we’re not all trying to make a song of Lovely Things, I think we all have had difficulty finding the words to show our inner selves. I often find myself wishing I knew how to express myself, how to verbalize the depths of my emotions in a coherent way. It’s so comforting though to remember there is nothing new under the sun. The road has been well travelled and on it are songs and stories and poems from those who came before, and their art can be mine. Ah that’s so beautiful! It makes me feel so connected to history and the story that God is creating!
I read that passage a few weeks ago and ever since it’s like every book I have picked up has spoken directly to an area of my soul I have been struggling to put words to. I have been able to take on these stories like garments of clothes. They surround me and represent my personality, and I am able to tailor these old words myself today. Tears have been fresh in my eyes these last few weeks and, with trying to find the next meaningful story, I have suddenly become quite a speedy reader.
Knowing myself, and knowing how short my memory is, I have decided to make a mini book review series to remind myself of these moments of meaning. A sort of homage to the books that have recently enabled me to dig deeper into the depths of my personhood. I am not in any way saying that this is a new thing I am discovering in literature, I think it’s actually the oldest and truest thing about the written word. It’s most base job is to connect the reader with the author’s ideas. This is an appreciation for the wonderful role of literature in my life!