I watched Shadowlands many years ago but there's a scene I have always remembered. C.S. Lewis is sitting in (what I figure to be) Magdalana College in their Great Hall. He's at a long table eating with all his colleagues. His book has just been printed and they start attacking it intellectually. Everything rolls along fine- they attack, he rebuffs, all college-y goodness till someone scoffs at the wardrobe scene. What is the wardrobe scene supposed to represent? Enlightment of the mind? They dilly-dally around a little more till C.S. Lewis grows short and he says, 'No, it's magic. That's all it is. Magic. Nothing else.'
And really, every time Lucy walks through the back of wardrobe, that's all I can think. Pure magic. And perhaps that's where C.S. Lewis was truly brilliant. He didn't dally around with symbolism on this. He knew what was true and stuck to his guns in front of his colleagues. 'Magic. That's all it is. Sheer magic. It just happens.'
And I'm wondering if this 'magic' is a trait common to all really good stories. Things just happen- they do and for no symbolic reason. They just happen one day.
Of course, I cling to this because I too want to walk into the world that lies behind the coats in the wardrobe. I too want to be staring at a painting and have it suddenly pull me in. And I too want to be sitting at a train station and suddenly get sucked into Narnia. It's magic. Nothing else. It just happens.