Perhaps this should have been the first post! But the question arises, why create Narnia in our attic?
The simplest answer is: The minute that an expectant grandmother looked into this empty attic space, it was Narnia, entered through a wardrobe door. At the time I was thinking of combining Narnia and Middle Earth into a sort of Narnian Hobbiton. But the more I’ve thought of it, the more clearly it has become purely Narnia.
I know now that there was a deeper reason, one that I had not consciously realized. It took watching a movie I hate to help me see it!
Part of my early planning process was to re-watch the Narnia movies. I wanted to see them again with a different viewpoint: What was someone else’s vision of Narnia?
I really liked “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” With my camera was right beside the remote control on the couch, I could hardly watch the movie for snapping photos of things that inspired me. That’s where I got the idea of Aslan’s Tent for the parents’ bedroom and The Lodge for the bathroom. I wanted to represent the children’s gifts from Father Christmas as well as their four crowns and a Narnian flag with a lion rampant. I now had a clear idea for the Stone Table and the arch behind it. Best of all, I had a vision of how I could faux-paint the stone arch around the large attic window with the resurrected Aslan silhouetted in the light of the window!
I liked “Prince Caspian,” too, although there weren’t any new bits of inspiration.
Next in the series would be “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Hmm, small problem: Didi and I hated the movie and refused to buy it! But Kara came to the rescue with her DVD, and I settled down to force myself to watch the movie, mainly because I wanted to catch the producers’ vision of the Dawn Treader.
Yep, I still hate the green mist and the great extent to which the movie strayed from the book. It’s like a bad combination of “The Exodus” and a video game quest! But I found myself caught up by the rich inspiration in so many scenes: The Dawn Treader sailing through the sunset, the weathered deck, the rich wood everywhere on the ship, Caspian’s cabin, the way the light & shadow fell in the hold where Eustace stole an orange, coiled ropes everywhere, the dragon’s hoard, the treasure chest, and the Eustace-dragon himself. I realized I wanted portholes revealing mermaids and seahorses. Maybe no sea monsters, though–we are trying to get small children to sleep there!
Perhaps because my attention was no longer focused on how much I hated the movie, I was struck by the ending as if by a bolt of lightning. How could I have forgotten this powerful scene that was almost edited out of the movie?
When Lucy and Edmond learned they could no longer return to Narnia, there is an interaction between Aslan and the children. Lucy is crying because she will never see Aslan again if she can’t come back to Narnia. He reassures her:
“I AM [in your world],” said Aslan.
“But there I have another name.
You must learn to know me by that name.
why you were brought to Narnia,
that by knowing me here for a little,
you may know me better there.”
And there it was: The real reason I want to create Narnia in my attic for my dear grandchildren. I was in tears, myself, touched by the beauty of Aslan’s words and how clearly they point to Jesus.
This is not just a fun playground or a fantasy world for some spoiled grandchildren. This is a place whose very purpose is to point little hearts to the Savior that loves them, died for them, and rose again–through the image of a loving and lovable, though never safe, Lion.
I knew I wanted to display this quote in Narnia. My internet research led me to the idea of having it made into vinyl wall words. I found a great website called EBuySigns where I can have it done for about $50 compared to almost $300 on every other wall words website I checked.
The movie I hate has put into words better than I ever could the very reason I’m creating Narnia in my attic! If that’s not humbling, I don’t know what is!