Branching out

In his preface to The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis writes of life – and its decisions – being like a tree:

We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision. Even on the biological level life is not like a river but a tree. It does not move towards unity but away from it and the creatures grow further apart as they increase in perfection. Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good. (p. viii)

If you’ve never read The Great Divorce, I highly recommend it. I remember when my husband first read it, he said it filled him with a lightness that he carried throughout the day. The title may be off-putting, but try to get past that. It’s not a self-help book about divorcing a spouse well. Lewis is writing of the divorce between Heaven and Hell in a fictional account of new arrivals to the land bordering Heaven. This land is a puzzlement to the new arrivals, and the picture Lewis paints of this place is magical.

I love Lewis’ simile of life “like a tree” with its branching out, with even good choices branching out from other good choices. And I’ve thought of that comparison lately as I’ve begun work on a new series for this blog.

That’s right. The blog is branching out. I’ll keep posting as usual on Wednesdays, and the topics will be what you’ve become accustomed to reading from me: faith, art, gardening, music, books and running. Plus whatever else piques my curiosity about how we create flourishing lives.

But starting Monday (May 14), I’ll also be adding a new branch to the blog. It’s a series called “The Good Aunt.” I don’t want to give too much away yet, but I will tell you that these Monday posts will take you through the stories, joys and struggles of women like myself who do not have children.

I don’t know where this new branch will lead or how far it will reach, but each Monday for the next several months, you’ll see posts about good aunts, women who are an essential but often overlooked part of our family trees.

I hope you’ll join me for this conversation. To make sure you don’t miss out on a single post, please consider subscribing to my blog. It’s easy to do from the Email Subscription field in the right column just below the title tree graphic and top navigation buttons. (If you’re looking at this on a mobile device, you’ll find the field below the post summaries; so just scroll down a bit). No one other than me will see your email address, and I promise never to sell it. Your trust is too precious to me for that.

See you back here on Monday!

3 thoughts on “Branching out

  1. I second your recommendation of The Great Divorce. That book helped me understand how a person could actually see the reality of heaven yet choose hell. It’s a fascinating exploration of free choice. It’s very short and works well for a read-aloud date.
    I did subscribe, Hope, so you don’t need to send me an email. I’m looking forward to your new series. So glad you’ve been doing so much writing!

    • Thanks for subscribing, Tracey! The Great Divorce is fabulous on so many levels. It’s one of the books whose images visit me time and again, usually when I’m least expecting it.

      I’d love to hear more about your read-aloud date idea. Sounds intriguing!

      • A read-aloud date is any time you can get someone to read aloud to you or listen to you read aloud to them. Good luck. It’s a rare person who will go along with such a scheme, but not as rare as one might think. Last weekend I was at a wedding shower, and one of the questions on the game quiz card was, Who is Ben and Siri’s favorite author to read aloud to each other? I guessed C.S. Lewis. The answer was actually David Sedaris, but I was just happy to know that reading aloud is still happening among hip young couples:)

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