On Monday, I shared a quote from Alan Jacobs' book The Narnian about Christianity being true myth and promised more today.
I'm glad to be back into Jacobs' biography of C S Lewis. I'm at a particularly exciting point: Lewis' conversion to Christianity. We had seen how for his whole life, Lewis enjoyed myth. Here, his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien has come to fruition. They have talked and argued about the idea of myth. Tolkien has written a poem for Lewis called Mythopoeia, or "mythmaking." He subtitled the poem "Philomythus to Misomythus." We can read that as myth-lover to myth-hater.
The portions of the poem Jacobs quotes make me wish to read the whole, and I will, but I wanted to quote a part that Jacobs emphasizes for you today:
It is with [Noah's race] that Philomythus [Tolkien] casts his lot, and he encourages Misomythus [Lewis] to do the same. In the end Tolkien does not offer certainty of reward for the voyagers and mythmakers, but rather faith and hope:I love that way of saying it, to count on the perchance. To count on it really being a true myth. That stories are meaningful in ways beyond what we see on the outside.
In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the day-illumined, and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True.
And he encourages Lewis to take the same chance he is taking, to count on the "perchance." And Lewis did. For the rest of his life he was a champion of the knowledge-giving power of myth, fantasy, Faery.(pg 146-147)