The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness
In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, wanting to meet God. After seven brutally unsatisfied years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. yet convent existence had profoundly altered her, and dealing with the surface international and her expiring religion proved to be excruciating. Her deep solitude and a terrifying illness–diagnosed simply years later as epilepsy–marked her eternally as an intruder. In her personal brain she was once an entire failure: as a nun, as a tutorial, and as a typical girl able to intimacy. Her destiny appeared a great deal in query till she stumbled into comparative theology. What she chanced on, in studying, considering, and writing approximately different religions, was once the ecstasy and transcendence she had by no means felt as a nun. Gripping, revelatory, and inspirational, The Spiral Staircase is a unprecedented account of an wonderful religious trip.
movement, it felt like a true defeat. Psychiatry had in no way been a part of the convent ethos. The very proposal of “talking issues over” with someone used to be anathema. yet i may see no substitute. the best way either the health care professional and the varsity nurse had taken safe haven instantly in cliché while faced with my situation indicated that they felt out in their intensity. i wished professional aid, yet I nonetheless shrank from exposing the mess of my existence to a stranger, who may study it clinically and make his personal.
Karen.” mom Frances laughed that dismissive chuckle back, her eyes cautious. She obtained as much as move and appeared quizzically at me, her palms resting at the desk. “There you pass back. All this extremity! It’s so unnecessary!” With an air of exasperation she received up and kissed me on either cheeks in a manner that felt extra like a slap than a salutation, and sighed, her fingers nonetheless on my shoulders, shaking me just a little, essentially mentally reviewing the tears, fainting, vomiting, and bleeding that had punctuated my.
The Tate’s Pre-Raphaelite indicates. i used to be stiff, as if I have been sitting for a while in an uncomfortable place. I received up and stretched. In entrance of me, John William Waterhouse’s girl of Shalott reared up in her fragile little boat. Her tapestry, the fruit of quite a bit committed toil, floated away downstream, waterlogged, stained, and ruined. The lady’s face had already assumed the pallor of dying and her dermis seemed as grey because the sky at the back of her—Tennyson’s girl of Shalott, who for therefore lengthy.
Vaguely non secular subject, alongside the strains of The Thorn Birds. faith was once a lifeless finish, she argued. i might by no means make a residing by way of writing approximately theology, and he or she didn’t belief the folk at Channel four. She additionally scolded me seriously for responding to John’s invitation with such noticeable satisfaction. “Now they comprehend you need to do it,” she snapped, “and we can’t in all probability get you a very good deal.” June was once no longer on my own. Nick, the manufacturer of evaluations, instructed me that if I had any doubts approximately this undertaking, I should still.
the following beside the ocean of Galilee. This used to be the easiest sightseeing I had ever performed in my lifestyles. i used to be now not easily letting the points of interest and sounds of the Holy Land sweep prior me in a magnificent landscape, yet used to be looking for Jesus and Paul, attempting to healthy my suggestions and ideas with the panorama and the convoluted background of its recognized websites. within the method, those holy locations entered my brain and middle in a fashion they had by no means performed while I had attempted to re-create them within the “composition of position” in the course of.