“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon.”
“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”
“Oh Aslan!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”
“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are–are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 215-216.
I love this passage. I love Lucy’s freedom in expressing her sobbing complaint to the gentle Lion. I love how Aslan calls her “Dearest” and “dear one.” I love Lucy’s clarification–that it isn’t Narnia she wants–she wants Aslan himself–and her despair at the thought of life without him. I love Edmund’s intuition, and his warm deference, “Sir?” I love the “I am”–with all it’s Biblical reverberation. I love Aslan’s explanation (“the very reason you were brought to Narnia”)–in fact, this is Lewis’s thesis statement for much of his fiction writing: to give us better perspective on our world by taking trips to Narnia (or to space).
My children have these books on audio recording. They listen to them while they play Legos, or cars, or dolls, or draw, or knit, or fold origami creations.
One day I happened to be in the room when they were listening to this scene at the very end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Suddenly, my five-year-old’s head popped up, she jumped up, started flapping her hands with excitement and ran around the room shouting, “I know his name in our world! I know his name in our world!”
I love this passage.