I hardly ever read a book these days as reading articles and blogs on the internet and writing blogs take up too much time. How C S Lewis would have despised the internet. He had hard things to say about people reading newspapers since he thought they get you into the habit of skipping superficially from one passing subject to another. But I abstained from the computer last night and sat down with A Grief Observed, a book about bereavement, in which Lewis’s powerful and honest voice speaks about the worst part of common experience. He describes how he tries not to substitute the image of his dead wife with her actuality:-
All reality is iconoclastic. The earthly beloved, even in this life, incessantly triumphs over your mere idea of her. And you want her to; you want her with all her resistances, all her faults, all her unexpectedness. That is, her foursquare and independent reality. And this, not any image or memory, is what we are to love still, after she is dead.. .
. . .Not my idea of H., but H. Yes, and also not my idea of my neighbour, but my neighbour. For don’t we often make this mistake as regards people who are still alive – who are with us in the same room. Talking and acting not to the man himself but to the picture – almost the precis – we’ve made of him in our own minds.