As The Ruins Fall
All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you
I've never had a selfless thought since I was born
I am a mercenary and self-seeking through and through
I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn
Peace, reassurance, pleasures are the goals I seek
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin
I talk of love, a scholar's parrot may talk Greek
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin
Only that now you have taught me, but how late my lack,
I see the chasm and everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge, by which I might get back
From exile and grow man; and now the bridge is breaking
For this I bless you as the ruin falls; the pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.
Professor Paulo shared this poem with the class today. I was in awe by these powerful words. The second stanza was especially vindictive. He puts my emotions into words and its crazy to think he wrote this before I was even thought of. It continues to amaze me that this man, C.S. Lewis, had so much insight into the world. He knows so much and has reached millions of people by simply writing down his thoughts. "I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin" Wow! What a slap to the face that line is. I know i am equally guilty of this charge as most other people are. We get so comfortable within ourselves and place ourselves on such a high pedestal that we forget to venture out into the world and meet with those who do not seek the peace, reassurance, and pleasures that we feel we have some right to seek. Often times we end where we began. We waste countless hours of time and effort on the things of this world and years from now we realize we've really gone no where. This poem better illustrates pain and promises that the gift of heaven will be so much greater than anything we can imagine here on earth.
I find this poem to be slightly depressing - disheartening even - but in the end the promise of joy shines through. C.S. Lewis was an incredible man and writer and I cannot wait to read more of his thoughts.