II: The Virgin's Ingress

“In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent...These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

...but this is a work of pornography, and the job of a pornographer is to recount in all their tender, naked glory those wishes and longings the heart dares not lay bare in "polite" company. Only by this do we learn these terrible longings are not unique, are not simply the fever-dreams of a broken soul.

May this book teach at least that the longing within you is more than romance or nostalgia, however strange or dark it seems.