Puddleglum is one of my many favorite characters from C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. He is just such a funny, creepy mixture of doom and gloom, Eeyore-like qualities, yet with a steadiness that helps the other characters in a myriad of ways. He appears in The Silver Chair, joining Jill and Eustace on their quest to free Prince Rilian of Narnia from the witch.
I think he cracks me up so much in that I’m sort of the polar opposite of him. I like to see the positives in any situation, in fact, I have to see the positives, or I’ll go crazy. I’m not sure if this is part of my personality or if it’s just a product of my life, or just the season I’m living in. I think in some respects, it’s a habit to be cultivated. I don’t think it’s always necessarily a conscious habit, but at times I do focus on looking at a situation, no matter how bad, and picking out the beauty or the good to be found in it. And really, that is the essence of a habit, you first must choose to do something, and eventually you are doing it without even thinking, because it is so ingrained into you. This is something I must do in order to keep perspective, to stay healthy mentally and emotionally. It does not make me better than anyone, it’s a life-giving practice that I know I must prioritize. Focusing on my problems, worrying, and striving rarely fixes them and makes for so much angst in my life and those around me. Ignoring problems doesn’t help either. However, if I can just sift through the dirt and find just one gleaming pebble, it makes walking through hard things bearable.
Is there such a thing as being too idealistic? Or too optimistic? Possibly. Probably. I mean, one has to get the ‘ole head out of the clouds and get some things done in order to just live normal life. However, I’m not sure being idealistic and optimistic isn’t a good thing. Just look all around you…things are dark, scary, depressing. Are we lying to ourselves when we focus on things that are good, true, and lovely? No, I believe we are battling the darkness. When I write here or talk with my friends about light, beauty, tea, gorgeous trees, and clouds, I’m not saying my life is perfect. I usually have my share right at that very moment of relational heartache, dirt, laundry, bills, and craziness. I am just choosing to look at the crack of light seeping in under my door. I have to hold onto that Light and follow it with all my might.
How ’bout you? What do you think?