"I want to see mountains, Gandalf, mountains! And then find some place quiet to write my book." - Bilbo Baggins
The Monster first entered my life in November 2017. It was a very intrusive monster, showing up when I least expected it, rousing me from sleep, and slowly creeping into my work, even when I beat it back.
After several visits with the Wizard of Healing, the Wizard at last identified the name of the Monster, a name which sounded like a violent sneeze. "But I'm not sure which spells would banish it yet. This is a rare monster, and very difficult to get rid of. I will send you to consult with more Wizards."
When the Monster decided to barge into my life on a massive scale, my job as a Keeper of Very Important Papers had to come to an end. The next week, my Dragon's job as a Manager of Very Important Business came to an end due to downsizing.
Here we were, Phoenix and Dragon, unemployed, with a great Monster living in my body. What was next?
There are three pillars to my writing philosophy: the beautiful, the painful, and the numinous. There are books that delight me, and books that engage me, but the books that truly move me are those which create in me that peculiar sensation of which C. S. Lewis spoke when he described The Lord of the Rings:
“Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart."
That is what I aim for when I write: the beauty of the breaking and the nearness of things too sacred to be uttered.
Today, I write about Beauty as explored in the work of Stephen Lawhead.