I have absolutely no notion why being given ephemeral as a prompt should have me thinking of C S Lewis. Maybe my mind is back a little in Oxford and with the daughters I raised there on a diet of, amongst so many other wonderful books, his magical volumes. But this picture is about as ephemeral as it gets for me. Taken from the roadside in the early, early morning a week or so ago on the way to Grenoble you see the church at Polignac sitting in the clouds and you just know that the moment had to be captured because otherwise it would be lost. But as the great man said … there is better ahead. He, of course was a devout Christian and speaks of the Heaven awaiting him. For me that heaven is of our own making here in this life.
Just as a point of interest C S Lewis died as he lived, quietly and without fuss, on 22nd November 1963, his death (and that of Aldous Huxley the same day) eclipsed by the assassination of a THAT President Kennedy. I remember 23rd November 1990 when Roald Dahl died. A young pop singer died the same day. It was certainly tragic, she being only in her twenties, but the BBC devoted a full report to her and gave one of the outstanding writers of any time just a few cursory seconds. I was incensed into complaining. It is the only time I have ever logged a complaint with the BBC. Of course my complaint changed nothing but for me it should never be a barrier to a voice that it will not tangibly change anything. The irony is that 52 and nearly 25 years later the same would not happen on the occasion of either death. Because I think it fair to say that like so many great artists, both are more popular now than they ever were in their lifetimes, though famous both certainly were, when breathing. Life is an ephereral thing all round, I would say.
PS: Lewis wrote these words in a letter (since published in ‘Letters to An American Lady’) to an old lady whom he never met though they corresponded for a decade. Mary, as one is probably minded when frail and running out of steam, was speaking of the end of her own life. In fact, he wrote the words just five months before he himself died. Ephemeral indeed.