Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Invisible Travel

C.S. Lewis creates an amazing and imaginative depiction of travel.  Through the novel, I found “The Magician’s Book” to be the most interesting and topical for our class.   In this chapter Lewis describes the phenomena of invisibility, more or less the journey for Lucy. During the feast, Lucy, Edmund, and Eustace observed a rather odd thing; being hosted by invisible people.  What made me realize the brilliance of the instance is how it relates to travel.  The trio saw plates and “Dishes coming to the table…not to see anyone carrying them” (Lewis, 155).  The travel of the plates, invisible carriers remind me of travel because when I travel it feels like a force carries me on my way.  Much like the invisible plates, I have no idea what brought me to my location; as if I didn’t see the process.  The plates didn’t move “Along level with the floor, as you would expect things to do in invisible hands. But they didn’t. They progressed up the long dining-hall in a series of bounds or jumps” (155). Travel assumes nothing; it is a journey while holding an invisible hand.  What moves us in travel, that is new places, is an intuition or ambition to add different experiences to our memory bank.  But if we didn’t see the places, would they be visible? Visibility is all about perspective, so must invisibility.  If we have never seen or read about a place, is it not invisible to our perspective or consciousness?  This invisibility comes into motion when Lucy finds and reads the Magician's Book.  The invisible people, the intuition that drives us to seek more, drive her journey.
            She reads the Magician’s Book, and finds something baffling.  Lewis writes, “She turned on and found to her surprise a page with no pictures at all: but the first words were a Spell to make hidden things visible” (168).  She then speaks the spell and realizes it working on the book as she reads.  What was invisible is magically resurrected to visibility.  But visibility is not all good, according to Lucy; “There might be lots of other invisible things hanging about a place like this. I’m not sure that I want to see them all” (169).  In her taming of the magician’s spell, she figured that total visibility is not great.  Rather, she loathes the idea of scary and unpleasant things that were contained and hidden in invisibility.  Much like travel, Lucy’s experience with the Magician’s Book reveals to me the subtleties of seeing more than the surface.  Travelling to new places allows us to draw the curtains of invisibility, but isn’t some invisibility good?  If everything is visible, aren’t the ugly and unpleasant parts of travel revealed.
            C.S. Lewis reveals a wonderful truth about invisibility, which I infer is, invisibility means present but hidden.  When Lucy sees Aslan, “The Lion, the highest of all High Kings,” she politely says, “’it was kind of you to come.’” And Aslan replies, “I have been here all the time” (169).  Lucy made Aslan visible, or Lewis made God visible.  Traveling we can agree is about journeying and transformation; one of the most profound transformations is through a religious medium.  Lewis might be suggesting that God may be invisible but is always present; and it is your burden to make Him visible. 

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