At the table

The indirect sunlight was pale blue. Falling to the black and white tiled floor softly around us. We sat to lunch — late, the Spanish way. This new woman, new friend — young and youthful for her age, with fifteen years on me, fifteen more years of life and wild and loving— tells me she’s so in love with God. No pretense. No script. And yet every word she speaks somehow hits me right in the center of my chest — shot straight. She tells me her story — her journey — her losses and her gains. With each new word something twists inside me. “lost.” “resigned.” “confused.” How often have I used these same words recently?

Tall, thin, dark — she pushes her dark curls away from her face. Overcome with where she is and how she got there — and who got her there.

Another twist. For the first time in a long time I am moved. Have I been missing much? After all? For the first time in a long time I think maybe this is something I want. After all.

I know what that tugging — that twisting means. That calling to the deepest.

But I don’t know if I’m ready yet. Or when I will be. My mother would surely be happy. And all of the other hands that have been reached out and held out to me in protection. In concern. In love. In coverage.

But here I sit at the table.

The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. . . .
Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off — just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt — and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me — I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .
After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me . . . in new clothes.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis

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