Thursday, January 3, 2008

Something From John Eldedge and an unlikely source Sir Fred Hoyle

Picture yourself in an ancient European city—Florence perhaps or Madrid. You find yourself at dusk, wandering through the older parts of town. Narrow streets are lined with dimly lit shops—pawnbrokers, no doubt, alongside various dealers in antiquities, booksellers, curious haunts harboring mysteries from far-off lands. Partly out of curiosity, partly out of a wish to avoid the jostling crowds, you turn into a musty parlor. As your eyes adjust to the twilight inside, you discover aisles crammed with Babylonian trinkets, Persian rugs, suits of armor, Colombian pottery. You browse indifferently among everything old and intriguing.

Then, something catches your eye. Sitting in a pile of forgotten silver urns and incense burners, it might have escaped your notice altogether. But it seemed to call to you, whisper your name. In fact, it is already in your hands. This is ridiculous, you think. You turn the lamp over and over most carefully, looking for . . . you’re not quite sure what. Obviously it is from the Middle East, Arabia most likely. What am I thinking? These things happen only in fairy tales.

Something you read long ago—was it in Chesterton?—crosses your mind. “An adventure is, by its nature, a thing that comes to us. It is a thing that chooses us, not a thing that we choose.” He’s right about that, you admit. Alice wasn’t looking for Wonderland when she fell through the looking glass. Come to think of it, the four children just stumbled into Narnia through the back of the wardrobe. Anodos simply woke to find fairyland had taken over his bedroom.

But another voice rises within you, urging caution. You’ve got places to go, for heaven’s sake. Don’t let yourself get carried away. The voice is full of common sense, of course. But the voice also seems old and tired. From how many adventures has it swayed you in your life? How many dreams left in the closet? “Closing time,” calls the curator of the shop. He begins to blow out the lamps. Your heart is racing. Somewhere back in your mind you hear the voice urging you on to your duties. But it is too late. You’ve already rubbed the lamp.

(The Sacred Romance Workbook & Journal, v-vi)

The man who voyages strange seas must of
necessity be a little unsure of himself. It is the
man with the flashy air of knowing everything, who
is always with it, that we should beware of."

Sir Fred Hoyle, Astonomer, Astrophysiscist and the man who discovered Neucleosynthesis, although the Nobel Prize for work in that field went to William Fowler in 1983.

Being an astronomer is like a call to the ministry. I would rather be a lousy astronomer than a good lawyer.

Sir Fred Hoyle (paraphrased)

"This is not Ancient Rome, we dont kill the messenger. We do, however, question his funding"

Cartroon in American Scientist November- December 2007

No comments: