Some teachers speak with enthusiasm and write with passion. Most everything they say motivates us. They are beautiful people!
Sister Wendy was one of those.
Sister Wendy joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1946, a religious order founded to provide education to the poor. Sister Wendy was a brilliant student and she went on to teach, first young girls and then she lectured at a University. But she had to give it up because of illness and decided to become a hermit and dedicate herself to prayer. She moved to the grounds of the Carmelite monastery at Quidenham, Norfolk,and there lived in small mobile home by herself. She found a few hours a day to study and write. She spent many years translating Medieval Latin manuscripts. The her attention was drawn to art and she began publishing books on art in the late 80s. She was recruited by the BBC to narrate art documentaries and became quite a star the 1992 to roughly 2012.
She Wendy was brilliant and honest. She was able to write and speak clearly so people could understand her, but she was able to express herself with great enthusiasm. Some people had a difficult time understanding why someone as brilliant as Sister Wendy had decided to be a hermit. I think this was particularly hard for people who also had writing and speaking talents and careers.
Sister Wendy’s British audiences were amazed at how she could discuss things like sex and the human body in art, but make it all so decent. I enjoyed listening to Sister Wendy’s programs, but I never understood just how smart she was until she was interviewed by Bill Moyers. I don’t think I have seen such intensity on television before except for a few political or criminal discussions. Sweet little Sister Wendy could definitely hold her own in the interviews and she just never seemed to dodge a question regardless of how difficult there were.
As a publisher we produce books that often attempt to express thoughts both simple and complex. Sister Wendy shows me just how wonderful it is when a writer can be right on and the message comes with an added dose of enthusiasm and feeling. Sister Wendy died the day after Christmas last year. A prolific author, she wrote over 40 books and she was on roughly a couple dozen TV Shows/Series. [I am reluctant to number these exactly because I have seen more of her work continually showing up.]