"On the Formation of the Society"
A merry troupe of minds through books did fly.
In Oxfordshire, England there sits a college town called Oxford. It is a two hour train trip from King’s Cross Station of London, and on the 18th of April, 2010 I rode that train and spent a wonderful two days in that town. The reason for my visit was embodied in one organization formed in the late 1930s called, “The Inklings.” C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other smart men of Oxford University’s many distinguished colleges met evenings in the “Rabbit Room” of the Eagle and Child pub to tell good stories, eat good food, drink good beer, smoke good pipes and have wholesome and productive fellowship together. Old English pubs are not high-ceilinged, open-air establishments; they are often dark, low ceilinged, musty wooden caves with many winding passages leading to many little rooms, some of which have their own names. The “Rabbit Room” is the first sitting space following the bar of the pub. It has its own fireplace; it is cozy and comfortable, and the perfect place for an organization such as The Inklings to meet. The men who sat by that fireplace eating, drinking, smoking and sharing wrote fine books and built fine friendships. Their minds were sharpened; their bellies were filled, and their faith was fortified. Good came from their Godly fellowship.
Now, if one wishes to grow in their understanding of Marxism or Statism, he should first read “The Communist Manifesto,” then find a group of Marxists to share notes with, and then find the proletariat, which—it turns out—is a deceptively difficult step. I am not a Communist or a Statist, but I do love good thought manifested in the literary, musical and artistic realms. Therefore—learning from my Marxists friends—I have found a group of like-minded individuals to share a proverbial fireside with. Distance (along with the evils of pollution) keeps us from eliminating the “proverbial” from my former sentence, so we have formed “The Ink Society:” a merry troupe of thinkers who share their ideas with each other and the community-at-large. We have unabashedly taken the model of The Inklings and made it our own. We claim no originality in this idea, but rather we claim pure enjoyment from its execution. Just as Orthodoxy will never be outdated, for it is a true and proper framework for Christianity, so the fellowship of friends sharing ideas together embodied in The Inklings should not be superseded or replaced but duplicated and delighted in. Frank W. Boreham says it beautifully:
“If a man wants to spend an hour or so as delightfully as it is possible to spend it, let him invite to his fireside some old and valued friend, the companion of many a frolic and sharer of many a sorrow; let him seat his old comrade there in the place of honor on the opposite side of the hearth, and let them talk.”
So let this be our fireside, and let the thoughts we share edify each other and all men.
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