Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So Many Persons

C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed. Lewis recalls the many persons his wife was to him after she has passed away.

"For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was H. not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my soverign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have had good ones) has ever been to me. perhaps more...

...That is what I meant when I once praised her for her 'masculine virtues'. But she soon put a stop to that by asking how I'd like to be praised for my feminine ones."

"Solomon calls his bride Sister. Could a woman be a complete wife unless, for a moment, in one particular mood, a man felt amost inclined to call her Brother?"

"For we did learn and achieve something. There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry 'masculine' when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them, to describe a man's sensitiveness or tact or tenderness as 'feminine.' But what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human 'In the image of God he created THEM.' Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes."

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