Once You are Real

From “The Velveteen Rabbit”:

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Once you become Real, you can’t be ugly…❤️

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That Quiet Spirit

Why should not a man be happy when he is growing old, so long as his faith strengthens the feeble knees which chiefly suffer in the process of going down the hill? True, the fever heat is over, and the oil burns more slowly in the lamp of life; but if there is less fervour, there is more pervading warmth; if less of fire, more of sunshine; there is less smoke and more light. Verily, youth is good, but old age is better—to the man who forsakes not his youth when his youth forsakes him.

The sweet visitings of nature do not depend upon youth or romance, but upon that quiet spirit whose meekness inherits the earth. The smell of that field of beans gives me more delight now than ever it could have given me when I was a youth. And if I ask myself why, I find it is simply because I have more faith now than I had then. It came to me then as an accident of nature—a passing pleasure flung to me only as the dogs’ share of the crumbs. Now I believe that God means that odour of the bean-field; that when Jesus smelled such a scent about Jerusalem or in Galilee, he thought of his Father. And if God means it, it is mine, even if I should never smell it again.

The music of the spheres is mine if old age should make me deaf as the adder. Am I mystical again, reader? Then I hope you are too, or will be before you have done with this same beautiful mystical life of ours. More and more, nature becomes to me one of God’s books of poetry—not his grandest—that is history—but his loveliest, perhaps.

George MacDonald, The Seaboard Parish, Ch. 12

Turning Inside Out

“WE cannot insist that the first years of infancy are of supreme importance, and that mothers are not of supreme importance; or that motherhood is a topic of sufficient interest for men, but not of sufficient interest for mothers. Every word that is said about the tremendous importance of trivial nursery habits goes to prove that being a nurse is not trivial. All tends to the return of the simple truth that the private work is the great one and the public work the small. The human house is a paradox, for it is larger inside than out.”

~G.K. Chesterton: ‘Turning Inside Out’ (Fancies vs. Fad)

Only a Dream

“Das Denken ist nur ein Traum des Fühlens, ein erstorbenes Fühlen, ein blass-graues, schwaches Leben.

Thinking is only a dream of feeling; a dead feeling; a pale-grey, feeble life.

NOVALIS. — Die Lehrlinge zu Sais.”

Excerpt From

David Elginbrod

George MacDonald

I think I would comment that feeling is, while a flowing stream from the heart of life, it is still only another stream, as is thinking; both are an activity brought forth by or from life, and neither the “heart” or meaning of life itself. But it is quite interesting to distinguish thinking from life- I think we disassociate life or our selves easier from feeling – at least I do- as it appears to be less trustworthy. But thought, while very other than feeling, I feel also has to be distinguished from life itself. It is an activity of life, and therefore by that very nature is not life itself.

A Door Out

“I did not come through any door,” I rejoined.

“I saw you come through it!–saw you with my own ancient eyes!” asserted the raven, positively but not disrespectfully.

“I never saw any door!” I persisted.

“Of course not!” he returned; “all the doors you had yet seen–and you haven’t seen many–were doors in; here you came upon a door out! The strange thing to you,” he went on thoughtfully, “will be, that the more doors you go out of, the farther you get in!”

– George MacDonald, Lilith

This one has new meaning for me after hearing Jerry Root and Mark Neal’s 1st lecture in their Neglected CS Lewis Series, and Lewis’s allusions to the mirrors of self.

https://youtu.be/EVMkUNaKr_0