The genre of the spiritual autobiography has always been one that entices me. Some of my modern favorites have been Kathleen Norris' Cloister Walk, Frederica Mathewes-Green's Facing East and At the Corner of East and Now, Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor, Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, Peter Gilquist's Becoming Orthodox, and the works of Anne Lamott.
Older spiritual autobiographies also intrigue me. I've enjoyed works in this genre by St. Teresa ("Little Flower") and St. Augustine, and my large and tippling stack of books by my bedtable has books by Margery of Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Evelyn Underhill, and Henri Nouwen.
So imagine my delight when a brown mailer appeared in my post office box on Tuesday. Inside of the most lovely William Morris wrapping paper was concealed another book in my favorite genre: My Life with the Saints by James Martin. Carmen, a friend from graduate school (University of San Diego, a Catholic liberal arts university), was kind in sending me such a gem as a belated birthday gift. I'm planning on taking it with me to Topsail next week; it looks like perfect airplane reading.
And as I sat in thought tonight, considering my own writing, which I have so little time for, my book project seems so difficult to do at this juncture of my life. Here I am, homeschooling, writing online high school subscriptions, caring for four children, a house, a garden. Who I am I fooling (besides myself) that I have time to write a book? Perhaps this summer. But for right now, perhaps I can work on a spiritual autobiography of my own for an article-length type essay. So I started a little freewriting about it tonight, and I think this idea may have some promise. So wish me luck as I start this latest project: a treatise on how the Internet brought me into a relationship with the ancient church. I like the paradox of that!