Thursday is the day I read a novel. It is sort of like a “sabbath day” (or maybe a “desert day”), that is, a day I try to rest a little more.
So I have been reading The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader. I have a romantic nature and quickly get emotionally involved in books. Not just novels! I fall in love with people in history and find it extremely hard to think of my life without them. But even after a few pages, I have fallen in love with this book. I know it romanticises the anchoress life, and do not get me started on using “anchoress”, but the book feels deeply personal to me.
It makes some points early on. The anchorite lives alone but not without help from other people. The book describes the maids that help Sister Sarah. In a very medieval cast system way, the anchorite has servants do their domestic duties. In fact, Richard Rolle in his rule describes there being two servants – one older and one younger.
The anchorite has contact with the outside world. There is a window inside the cell to look into the church and one outside to allow the anchorite to speak with spiritual disciples. In the book, Sister Sarah makes time to “instruct” her maids in the faith – she reads to them!
So, bringing all that together – I have Zoom, books, and a microwave. I do not have disciples – to be honest, I have no desire to instruct anyone in anything. And I have silence! I am trying to work on the inside silence. Yet I already have some extremely silence.
I am going to read a little more of the book. Sink into that world and try not to lose my heart!