I quit my job three months ago. It was necessary and I'm not looking back with disdain or regret or embarrassment. However, I did promise myself that I wasn't going to use this time to sloth around, as I'm prone to do. I reassured people that I wasn't going to fall and land softly on a pile of Netflix. Of course, it's taking me awhile to type this because I have Friends on in the background. Okay, foreground. But I'm having a change of heart, sort of. I love Netflix. It's been my pal the last few months. Friends, Gilmore Girls, Bob's Burgers, Portlandia, Mad Men. I like those. Netflix has those. But also, those stories don't change. I watch them over and over, which is not inherently bad, but it takes my time away from me, something I covet deeply.
But last week, I had a shift to new stories. I started back up again with the Chronicles of Narnia series and blew through them. I read three of the books in I think as many days. So much to be found there! So many pictures of God there. So many pictures of me there. My doubts, my fears, my sins. Then redemption and lessons of trust and faith, with plenty of humour (it is an English book, after all) and lovable characters to snuggle up with. The value of new stories and classic stories, for the young and the old, is immeasurable to me. The gift of imagination that each book seeps into our fingertips as we hold them is precious. The new worlds or eras we are invited into are perhaps not better or worse than our own, but supremely different and rife with adventure. Books hold more power than do television shows. Not to say that tv and movies and Netflix are not worth something and do not provide great room for engagement and story-telling, but it is no secret that books and stories on pages possess a unique ability to enchant our minds and hearts and take them soaring to new heights of creativity, imagination, intelligence, and adventure.
So I hope to find more stories. I hope to continue to be engaged in musty pages and clean, crisp ones. I hope to escape to Narnia over and over again and smell the enchanting perfume of the Great Lion's mane and plunge my toes into the soft grass, dance with the dryads, drink and feast with Bacchus, catch a favorable wind setting forth from Cair Paravel, and brush my fingers along every blooming flower and soft pelt and hide of the Talking Animals.