liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness

This is the first of my (extensive) Summer Reading project. It is written by Karen Armstrong. I started it yesterday afternoon, and am already 1/3 of the way through it. In it Karen tells the story of her 7 years in a Catholic convent and the aftermath of that experience. When she attempted to integrate back into the regular world, she became mentally ill, and was unable to find real help. She was studying English literature at Oxford, and could still function as an academic, writing beautiful "Gothic" essays. But she had lost the ability to connect to other people, to love or accept love. She is a beautiful writer, nonjudgmental and straightforward about what happened to her, and how she has come to understand it. Her retrospect is quite clear, though she constantly refers to another book that she wrote prematurely, attempting to explain her experience. She says it was the "worst book I have ever written" and she is glad it is out of print. I am learning to understand Catholicism and its effects on culture at a new level.

I picked this book up first because Joe just recommended it the other night. Renee had recommended the same book, probably years ago by now, and I acquired it at Bookman's in Flagstaff, and have been carrying it around. That's how I am with books.
Tags: books, catholicism, education, isms, madness, psych, religion, sanity, writing

  • A Request of Runners in Pandemic Times

    Living in an urban area I, like many, exercise in the park. I was doing so before the pandemic started and I have continued. My local park is big…

  • Interesting Times Indeed

    Being a doc and a dork too, I've been studying on COVID-19 since it first appeared. Still the magnitude of the crisis is shocking. This will be…

  • Sex and Sexism

    It's 3:44 am and I've been restless, unsleeping. I slept at first then woke with thoughts of Epstein, who just suicided because he didn't want to…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment