Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting Aquainted- Part V: Ethnically I'm a Marshwiggle

 The Silver Chair (book 4 of the Narnia Series -haven't read it? You must!) there is a scene in Underland, after the Prince has been set free from the magic of the chair and before the cadre of Narnians have escaped from the Queen of Underland's Castle. The Lady of the Green Kirtle (a.k.a.The Queen of Underland, a.k.a.The Serpent) is casting spells on Puddleglum (your friendly, neighborhood Marshwiggle), Eustace and Jill Pole, and, once again, the Prince of Narnia. They are all falling under the magic of the witch- who is opposed to all things good and Holy and right- they are getting drowsy, they are believing that there is no sun, no light, no Narnia, no Aslan and that the Underworld is the World.

Heroically, Puddleglum casts his hand into the flame, burning himself, as he proclaims,

One word, Ma'am! One word! All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as a like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's small loss if the world's' as dull a place as you say.

(Happy sigh.If I wasn't so happily married myself, I'd go in search of Puddleglum to marry, even if it meant eating eels the rest of my life).

Here's the thing. I'm a Marshwiggle by nature- melancholy and pretty convinced that the glass is half empty (one of the things I love about my sil is that she is positively proclaiming, with a beatific smile, that it is half full, tyvm!). I'm just prone to that and I work to overcome it, but there it is. But I'm sure, positively, undeniably sure, that the life of faith that I've adhered myself to- like glue dontcha' know, cause us melancholies might be a bit pessimistic but we are faithful to the bitter end- is the Real World. And it's the standards and magic, and deep magic of The Way that are the only True Thing. This world, this one, is good. I like it- most days. But when I die, I hope someone says for me, "It's been a great ride. On to the real thing." And when I get there, I will embrace my dear friend Puddleglum - or at least Lewis, who created him- and smile, that the journey- however hard and bitter and ill fought, was worth it.

For Narnia! For Aslan!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I could've written this post! I have often called myself Puddleglum--he's my favorite Narnian. You're so right--pessimistic, but faithful to the (bitter) end! said...

Amy- I'm so glad you caught my double entendre ; )! And I knew I LIKED you! Maybe we're cousins?! Lol.

theYoungerMrsWarde said...

I was intrigued by your title of this post and I love what you wrote.

Angela Castillo said...

One of my absolute favorite, most quoted sections of the Narnia series. Wonderful post! said...

Thank-you YMrs.Ward and Angela! : )