TO MARY VAN DEUSEN: On the difficulties of moving and on the lessons moving teaches us—“We must ‘sit light’ not only to life itself but to all its phases. The useless word is ‘Encore!”
21 November 1962
I think I share, to excess, your feeling about a move. By nature I demand from the arrangements of this world just that permanence which God has expressly refused to give them. It is not merely the nuisance and expense of any big change in one’s way of life that I dread. It is also the psychological uprooting and the feeling—to me, as to you, intensely unwelcome—of having ended a chapter. One more portion of oneself slipping away into the past! I would like everything to be immemorial—to have the same old horizons, the same garden, the same smells and sounds, always there, changeless. The old wine is to me always better. That is, I desire the ‘abiding city’ [Hebrews 13:14] where I well know it is not and ought not to be found. I suppose all these changes should prepare us for the far greater change which has drawn nearer ever since I began this letter. We must ‘sit light’ not only to life itself but to all its phases. The useless word is ‘Encore!’
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.