Category Archives: other

Reclaiming Narnia: Walking Trees, Talking Beasts, Divine Waters

And talking of Narnia… Jonathan Woolley writes a fantastic piece on the subject of reclaiming Narnia, on Gods and Radicals today.


By Jonathan Woolley

stock__narnian_lamppost_by_elfhorse-d3duaza Image by Skullb3at

I – Radical Voices from the Lantern Waste – Opinions That Won’t Be Chronicled by Prof. Lewis.

“Narnia is a realm dominated by one voice – the roaring caterwauling of Aslan of the East. He has cried out many times in our history, drowning out all other truths. Sometimes in love, sometimes in anger. Sometimes with great cause. But only ever when it has suited him.”

“There is a deep magic, unknown to most. There is a deeper magic, unknown even to the wise. Then there is the deepest magic – known to everyone.”

“Aslan, or the White Witch? The messianic agent of some foreign emperor, or some despot from a dead world? Are those our only choices?!”

“Susan was the best of them, really. The High King was never here; more interested in fighting foreign wars and chasing valour than government. Edmund was…

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Photo: Bluebells, by Jillyspoon (Creative Commons).

Photo: Bluebells, by Jillyspoon (Creative Commons).

This is the story of six bluebells.

It’s Lag Ba’omer – Jewish bonfire night – and I’m in the countryside just north of London, on land that’s been allowed to go a bit wild. SJ and I go for a walk, as far out into the knotted trees and long grass as my mobility scooter will take me. Suddenly, under the trees, there they are: bluebells. Half a dozen, fighting to peep up through the grass and among hardier plants – delicate, tenacious, shining.

I’m struck by the power of life, of the  ecosystem we are privileged to be part of. These tiny bluebells will feed bees, who in turn will ensure that we are fed. Looking after the most insignificant of bluebells, we move one step closer to real-ising our interconnectedness with all life.

Later, at the bonfire, a child comes running up. “Mummy! I got flowers for you!”

In her hand, half a dozen bluebells.

We are a frighteningly powerful species. We think nothing of destroying entire ecosystems to gain more of what we want. More *things*, ripped from the face of the earth. Bluebells in our hands.

We’re also often a profoundly stupid species. We can’t relate well to the destruction of entire rainforests or the extinction of entire species. We only understand the little stories. Thousands of people dead in a natural disaster or a war? It’s too much. We need one story to relate to.

This is the story of six bluebells.

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