A Gem from G.K.

30 Mar

I like the writings of G.K. Chesterton. I don’t always understand or agree with everything he writes but I always find myself entertained and enriched when I read him.

Here’s one of my favorite passages from his book Orthodoxy. Chesterton is better than most at capturing the wonder of life in God’s world.

  “Just as we all like love tales because there is an instinct of sex, we all like astonishing tales because they touch the nerve of the ancient instinct of astonishment. This is proved by the fact that when we are very young children we do not need fairy tales:  we only need tales.  Mere life is interesting enough.  A child of seven is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door and saw a dragon.  But a child of three is excited by being told that Tommy opened a door.  Boys like romantic tales; but babies like realistic tales–because they find them romantic. In fact, a baby is about the only person, I should think, to whom a modern realistic novel could be read without boring him. This proves that even nursery tales only echo an almost pre-natal leap of interest and amazement.  These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green.  They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.”

Mere life is indeed interesting enough.

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