Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mirrors and Glass: Weekends with Chesterton and WIWS

Also, she (Cinderella) had a glass slipper; and it cannot be a coincidence that glass is so common a substance in folk-lore. This princess lives in a glass castle, that princess on a glass hill; this one sees all things in a mirror; they may all live in glass houses if they will not throw stones. For this thin glitter of glass everywhere is the expression of the fact that the happiness is bright but brittle, like the substance most easily smashed by a housemaid or a cat. And this fairy-tale sentiment also sank into me and became my sentiment towards the whole world. I felt and feel that life itself is as bright as the diamond, but as brittle as the window-pane; and when the heavens were compared to the terrible crystal I can remember a shudder. I was afraid that God would drop the cosmos with a crash.     The Ethics of Elfland., Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton 
Link to entire chapter.

This is why I love reading G.K. Chesterton.  I never really thought about the significance of glass in fairy-tales...but imagery of glass and mirrors seems to pop up over and over again.   I love how he talks about how life and happiness is bright and beautiful, yet fragile and brittle and can be gone in an instant. So true, so very, very true.

And yet...there is hope.

For, if we read on.

Remember, however, that to be breakable is not the same as to be perishable. Strike a glass, and it will not endure an instant; simply do not strike it, and it will endure a thousand years. Such, it seemed, was the joy of man, either in elfland or on earth; the happiness depended on not doing something which you could at any moment do and which, very often, it was not obvious why you should not do

It seems to me that so many times, sin, brings us unhappiness, yet it is not immediately obvious why we should not do that very thing that we so want to do.  Of course, lots of other things bring unhappiness as well...but doing what we should not do, almost certainly does.

And, that is the extent of my Chestertonian thought for the day.

Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things and Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

Sweater:  not sure...maybe Wal-Mart
Pants: old and thrifted
Shoes: sorry...can't see them.

This is what I wore to Mass this afternoon.  I skipped this morning when everyone else went because that toddler in the mirror up there is sick.  We'll see if I make it all the way to this afternoon without getting puked on again.
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  1. I hope you get to go today! The flu has been thwarting my going to Mass all month until today (I had it for a long time and then last week I was better but Paul and the babies were getting sick again and as the last Mass started I finally gave up my dreams of going). I will be so glad when this flu season passes us by.

    1. Thanks...I did get to go..all by myself too! Yay!

  2. Love the sweater! I hope you get to go today! :)

  3. Thank you so much for the reminder about this particular fairy-tale and Christian truth. It's a good understanding to have when one is reading those tales to children.

  4. I hadn't read about the significance of glass in fairy tales before. I will definitely pay attention to that as I read them to my children from now on!

  5. Excellent post! I'm going to look forwar to Weekends with Chesterton! We have the flu in AK too...I'm still trying to decide if I should attend the 6 o'clock Mass tonight. Theresa B


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