A Prince Caspian moment

September 28, 2009

Phoebe, our eight-year-old, resisted having me read The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to her for years.  I kept suggesting it, and she refused.  I think her reluctance was two-fold.  First, she was afraid that they would be too scary for her.  (She is fairly sensitive and does not care for danger/suspense too much.)  The other reason (in my opinion) is because one of the main character’s names is Lucy, something her older sister Lucy liked to flaunt mention whenever the topic arose.

Well, Phoebe finally gave in, and I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to her and Bridget. Lucy drifted in and out of storytime, because, let’s be honest: who can resist hearing a good story, even if you have read it before and know what’s going to happen?

The girls loved the story, naturally. So we moved on to Prince Caspian. I’ve read these stories several times in my life, and so have most people, so I’m not going to give a full review.  But there is one moment that jumped out at me, which just never caught my attention before.

It is after the battles have been fought and Miraz is dead and the Telmarine soldiers are locked up for the night and the celebrating begins.  The bonfire is lit and the creatures of Narnia are all dancing and singing and feasting and frolicking.  And here is the passage:

“The best thing of all about this feast was that there was no breaking up or going away, but as the talk grew quieter and slower, one after another would begin to nod and finally drop off to sleep with feet toward the fire and good friends on either side, till at last there was silence all round the circle, and the chattering of water over stone at the Fords of Beruna could be heard once more.  But all night Aslan and the moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.”

What a picture!  A great party, then quiet talking with friends around a campfire, then cozy sleep.  And the image of Aslan, never sleeping, but abiding there with them all night, full of joy and gazing at the moon.

This does something to my soul.  Longing, joy, sensucht.

It reminds me a little of a lullaby CD we listened to when the children were younger.  And one of the songs went “Close your eyes.  Drift away.  There’s no need for you to be afraid.  The whole world may be fast asleep.  But Jesus is awake.”

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2 Responses to “A Prince Caspian moment”

  1. Travis said

    “This does something to my soul.”

    Well said! Yes, it does. That imagery in particular, along with the very comforting truth about Aslan’s being awake while the ones he loves sleeps, is all about the transformed vision. Aslan can look to the moon in that way, because the moon represents the gateway to the heavens and into the Perilous Realm or Faerie. (Think about Harry’s soul – when the Voldemort piece is finally severed from him, he doesn’t need glasses in his King’s Cross vision. That’s why Aslan can look unblinking at the moon [heaven]; because he has pure vision/conscience.]

    On a tanget:
    This is why Rowling gave Luna Lovegood that name. Here’s a character who is as foreign to the wizarding world as the WW is to our world. I like to say she is to wizards what wizards are to Muggles. And she can see rightly, because of faith. Her eyes are always described (large, protuberant), she can see thestrals before anyone else we know of, and she’s the only character in the story besides Dumbledore who always has peace in the face of death – whether her mother’s or Dobby’s.

    So yes, the Christ figure, having the perfect vision to gaze into heaven unblinking and waiting there as his loved ones sleep – that’s soul-affecting stuff, right there!

  2. Leanne said

    Hey Travis, Thanks for commenting.

    Love the idea of the moon representing the gateway to the heavens…

    Also interesting about Luna. I hadn’t thought about that before. I was just reading about Luna last night in James Thomas’ book, which I received for my birthday. He summed up 5 things he liked about Luna beautifully. So, thanks for the Luna tangent. I love her!

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