LOVE IS STORED IN THE KITCHEN PT 3/? quote by antoni porowski in interview with megan summers, the hungers of hadewijch and eckhart by donald f. duclow, in the kitchen by helena janecic, grilled cheese & tomato soup by noah verrier, all too well by taylor swift, @lavenderfables on tumblr, robert and mary frank, 1952 (dancing couple) by elliot erwitt, just the two of us by clifford prince king, call down the hawk by maggie stiefvater, wish by w.s. merwin
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i thought everyone was kind of, a little bit... exaggerating. i had been in love, but it wasn't like that. the world was still just-the-world. the sky was lovelier next to them, yes, but love wasn't the awe i had heard about. it was deft and sly and beautiful - but i was sort of privately scornful of true love as a concept. i thought that poets are often full of drama - i'm a poet, after all. all the crying and sighing and world-shifting. i thought - nobody actually loses their appetite, nobody actually gets butterflies. people like to believe they're in love a lot, and the placebo effect will do things to you. no wonder other people lost sleep - i thought: well, that makes sense for them, but it is not going to happen for me.
and then i met her. and then it was real, and i knew something had opened that could never go back to sleep.
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"Deok-chul. We have known each other for almost 50 years now. But it's time to say goodbye. When my own family abandoned me, you've visited me all these years. I can't thank you enough. Lately, I keep hearing the ocean in my ear. There are whales swimming in the vast, deep ocean, and I sail across it on the Forward. But just when I think I'm about to move forward, I keep waking up. Am I asleep or intoxicated on medicine? I can't tell anymore. Deok-chul. My pain is getting worse and worse. I want to be happy at least in my last moment."
— Are you out on the ocean now? Have you spotted any whales yet?
2021, dir. Han Dong Hwa
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So here’s something fun and not at all heartbreaking:
The Magician’s Nephew works so well in large part because Digory’s grief is deeply felt. From the way he writes Digory, you can tell that Lewis knows exactly what he’s going through, even without knowing anything about his life. There’s so much attention paid to Digory's psychology, his grief as he waits for the impending loss and all the different ways it affects him, especially compared to Narnia’s other child protagonists.
And then you read the first chapter of Surprised by Joy and get “For us boys, the real bereavement had happened before our mother died. We lost her gradually as she gradually withdrew from our life into the hands of nurses and delirium and morphia,” and you realize oh. Jack gave Digory his own story.
And then you flip back a few pages and re-read how the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Bastables series were some of young Jack’s favorite books and formative influences, and you think back to the opening lines of MN which sets the book when “Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in Lewisham Road” and realize oh! Jack gave Digory his own childhood.
And as you read on, you see Jack’s description of how his father became after his mother’s death: “Adult misery has an effect on children which is merely paralyzing and alienating […] His temper became incalculable; he spoke wildly and acted unjustly.” And you see shades of young Digory’s alienation, and realize that young Jack longed for nothing more than that which he gave Digory: the tears of Aslan, who understood and grieved the loss alongside him, who was not frightening or unjust but understanding and endlessly kind.
And then you keep reading and get to “When nevertheless she died, I shifted myself into a belief that there was to be a miracle,” and you’re suddenly overwhelmed by the tenderness with which Jack, through Digory, treated the boy he once was. How he gave Digory the miracle he never got, that precious apple to make his mother well again.
And even the last line of the chapter: “It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.” Isn’t that where the dust that made the rings came from? you think.
Just. Sometimes I think about how C.S. Lewis gave Digory his own childhood grief yet gave him the comfort and the happy ending that he never got and I can scarcely bear how lovely it all is.
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