Thursday, April 2, 2015

From My Commonplace: On Remembering

One of the books that is being discussed over on the AO Forum at the moment is Richard Adam's Watership Down (a Year 7 literature selection).   It is a story about a group of rabbits that escape from imminent danger at their warren, and set off into the wide world to get to safety and re-establish themselves against all odds.  At one point along their journey, they stop and stay for a while with a group of rabbits that seem a little bit…different.  They live, act, and speak in ways that rabbits typically don't.  When our group of rabbits tell one of the traditional tales of one of the heroes of  their rabbit mythology, these new rabbits are indifferent, having moved on to new stories of their own innovation.  One of the group of rabbits senses that there is something suspicious about these rabbits and warns them to get away while they can, but none of the rest of the group want to listen until they find themselves in a great deal of danger.  This is what that rabbit says:
"They forgot El-ahriah, for what use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy's warren and paying his price?  They found out other marvelous arts to take the place of tricks and old stories."
~Richard Adams, Watership Down
These rabbits had thrown out the wisdom of the old in favor of their own 'new' wisdom...that wasn't really wisdom at all.  As I noted in my post on CS Lewis' The Abolition of Man, a big part of the point Lewis was trying to make is that we have to recognize the fixed, absolute truths that are part of our universe.  The minute someone else starts decide what is and isn't truth, we start heading towards destruction and chaos.  The rabbits in the new warren seemed to be a good picture of that.  It made me think of The Silver Chair too, which we recently finished reading to the kids.  When Jill and Eustace forget the signs that Aslan gives them, and fail to heed the warnings of Puddleglum the Marshwiggle to remember -  that's when they start heading into danger. 
'Remembering' is important.

My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional: Lent Devotions in Living the Christian Year (Gross), The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction (Ferguson)
Theological or Christian Living: The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 (Gonzales)
Book Discussion Group Titles: Idylls of the King (Tennyson), Watership Down (Adams)
'Great Book': Inferno (Dante)
On Education: How to Read a Book (Adler), Beauty for Truth's Sake (Caledecott)
Topic of Special Interest: The New World (Churchill)
Novel/Biography/Memoir: Nicholas Nickelby (Dickens)
Read-Alouds with the Children: On the Banks of Plum Creek (Wilder), The Horse and His Boy (Lewis), Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold (Benge)

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  1. History is full of calls to remember, too! The fifth of November, the Alamo. I love this, thanks!

  2. WD is one of my husband's favorites. I subbed Ben-Hur for it for my daughter's AO Year 7 because she had already listened to it several times. But I really need to read it myself!

  3. My husband read Watership Down aloud to me shortly after we were married. I will have to remind him. I think he wanted to establish a habit of reading aloud in our home. Thank you for that quote.