Saturday, April 7, 2012


This photo reminded me of the deer park next to Magdalene College in Oxford and 'Addisons Walk'. The entrance to this walk is right next to 'New Buildings' (cira 1600!),where Lewis lived; a walk taken often by C S Lewis in company with J R R Tolkien and their friends.

I walked Addisons Walk myself in 2006 when on a pilgrimage walk around Oxford. Its a short and pleasant walk (hardly the Camino Compostela Santiago pilgrimage). I remember thinking at the time that I was literally walking in the footsteps of creative giants. Later I had a beer at the 'Eagle and Child' the watering hole of the 'Inklings' a group of University and Literary friends including Lewis and Tolkein. I admired the photographs and other memorabilia. Unfortunately I didn't get to see Lewis' house close by in Headington or visit the graveyard which is a pity because there was an inscription on the grave of Lewis' wife Joy Davidman that I wanted to see for myself. There is not enough room here to explain the big picture of Lewis' relationship with Joy Davidman but he said this of her:

"She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more."

When Joy Davidman died Lewis had these words (below) written on her gravestone. I used this inscription myself when placing a death notice for my mother in the local paper when she died in 1994. The inscription reads:

Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
and field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In Lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.

It's Easter Sunday tomorrow and I am thinking of my mum and others - and those are the words that I needed to say.

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