Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood
Wilson, Barbara. Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood. New York: Picador, 1997.
“I may have been taught a lot of metaphysical claptrap, but I was also taught the importance of love as a healing force” (335), Wilson writes of her childhood. Her memoirs, recounting her 1950s childhood with Christian Science, tragedy, and abuse are her admittedly therapeutic means for coming to terms with her identity and life purpose. Her Christian Science mother’s onset of mental illness and death due to cancer when Wilson was 12 left her in a double bind created for her by family secrets and silence. She “struggled with the idea that after all these years of evading and ignoring it, this religion was to be [her] subject. But as a child, this religion was [her] life” (12). She hadn’t understood its doctrines well and she stopped attending church at 13, but she knew her life was deeply intertwined with her relationship with her mother’s radical commitment to Christian Science. Her father opposed all religion until he remarried, but Wilson’s maternal grandparents were Christian Science practitioners. Wilson never expected Christian Science or medicine to solve her mother’s problems, but the deeper philosophical questions generated by her experience with Christian Science stayed with her. Rather than ‘rose-colored’ windows, she admits she is more readily drawn to ‘blue windows.’