Tomorrow we are going to see the Narnia movie.
The Narnia books are one of those things it's hard for me to be totally objective about. The stories were more than just stories to me when I was a child. They were an escape, a promise, a perfect haven.
I was introduced to them fairly late in my childhood. I was in sixth grade, in an all-girl class in an overstuffed parochial school on Long Island.
I was a bookish sort, and had few friends; I was the kid who was always reading on the playground. My teacher was an elderly nun who was well past her prime as an educator. She had two main interests that she drilled her class on: lives of the saints and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Day after day we heard the latest on canonizations and Syrian artillery postions.
(Like all the teachers in the school she was an ardent Zionist- her name in religious life was Sister Miriam Esther, and I always thought it must have gone to her head.)
One day she summoned me to her desk. I'll make you a deal, she said. You talk to two girls on the playground every lunch hour, and I'll let you go downstairs to the library. You can start tomorrow. And while you're there- she wrote a phrase on a slip of paper- try these..
I jumped at the deal. When I returned to my seat I looked at the paper. "The Chronicles of Narnia."
The rest is history. Needless to say, I am a little apprehensive about the film- what if they ruin my version?- but I'm excited about it as well.
I do wish, though, that the evangelicals would shut up about it. With all their talk of study guides and Christian messages I'm sure they're already putting people off the film. And no one should be deprived of the joy of Narnia.