- File Size: 603 KB
- Print Length: 162 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1329811194
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 17, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CF0SWYE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,510 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Angel's Harp Kindle Edition
|Length: 162 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Alan’s quest leads him to train as an Anglican priest, where he learns that the human response to those moments when the molecules reverberate inside you with a mystical sense of the music of the spheres doesn’t have anything to do with the ‘spirituality’ appropriated by organised religion. This is the story of his search for what makes an “angel’s harp” sound suddenly in the ‘soul’. His high expectations date from early childhood. He planted seeds and “eagerly awaited the emergence of beanstalks, but none so far had lived up to my expectations.” When, one day, Melanie (the girl next door) “brought him something which, in her opinion, was probably the skeleton of a Martian,” he wasn’t so sure, “being an expert in such matters.”
There is so much in this story with which I identify. It delves deeply into the human psyche and asks a number of interesting questions. Here are some important ones: “But what if, just what if, the thing that makes people believe in God is this very thing, the music, the beauty? That doesn’t mean that all the other stuff about God is true. But what if, somewhere there at the bottom of it all, is music? But why? Does it mean anything? Does it serve any purpose? Is it all just some accidental by-product of chemicals, just an unintended side-effect of evolution?”
How many of us have ever tried to pin down ‘joy’? For Alan, it had nothing to do with ‘God’. Alan has an acute awareness of the discrepancy between the potential and the actual when it comes to the Anglican take on Christianity: “Alan’s years at theological college, and his subsequent experience with the Church, had done more than any exposure to religious delusions could to disabuse him of any spiritual tendencies.” However, he finds evidence in books that others have felt this ‘wonder’ too and gone in search of its source. There is something ‘mystical’ in the uncanny synchronicities that sometimes almost impossibly reverberate in life; and then we glimpse, as Wordsworth did in his Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey: “sensations sweet, felt in the blood and felt along the heart, and passing even into my purer mind with tranquil restoration.”
Alan makes real progress in his quest. It’s a fascinating journey, and any reader could be forgiven for thinking that happiness would eventually be his just reward for an exceptionally virtuous and altruistic life. The ending, however, is a stark reminder that no matter how sensitive and intelligent and good and kind and caring and thoughtful you are, you are still striving to make order out of a chaos that can, and often will, kick you in the teeth. Hamlet was on the same wavelength. “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, … in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! … And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
You will come across a book of this quality only rarely. I recommend it to you without reservation.
This book "almost" seems like a biography, a story of the life of Alan Carter...beginning in his young years and moving forward. But he's just a character, right? His life has been broken down into Movements--you know, like in music? In fact, you may start to hear that angel's harp playing during some parts of the novel...
We meet Alan at home when he was just six, somewhat introverted, he "believed" in just about everything...so it wasn't surprising that it happened to him...
Melanie was just six-months younger when she moved into the house next door. She saw Alan one day through the back fence between their homes and became immediate friends. At first, they didn't even mention the other to their parents, although they had seen what was happening. They were on Melanie's side of the fence when they found it...a box! What could it be? Together they opened it excitingly. There was a necklace, a beautiful crystal and letter and pictures. Of course, Melanie placed the necklace around her neck and they decided that Alan should take the letters and pictures to see what was there...
While they remained friends as they grew older, Alan's feelings for Melanie grew. Melanie, on the other hand, gained friends easily and by high school they rarely talked... until Alan asked her to go to a dance. Instead of moving closer, however, Melanie began to share secrets to her trusted friend and told him that she would probably not go back to school, but would start working... Alan realized that she had never really knew that he loved her...
It was about that time that he remembered the letters they had found so long ago--and that he had never read them... Thus Movement 2 begins...
During the mid-1940s, Beth had lived in the same house as Melanie, next door to Alan. Now, it was Alan who was reading the journal that Beth had once written. She had started writing when she was 12. Her mother had died and, although her grandmother had moved in with Beth and her father, she needed to discuss personal things. I imagine it was extremely difficult for Alan to be reading of her personal thoughts, as she struggled to understand relationships, her sexuality, and desires.
There were also nightmares, visions, of blood for her that were very scary... And then she stopped writing, with an ending note of now knowing what she had to do...
It was then that Alan started writing to her! No, he couldn't send them, but he wrote nevertheless... For a young man who had lost the one friend and love he'd had, it must have been a mystical experience to perhaps get to know Beth more than he had ever known Melanie, the girl next door...
Alan moved into Movement 3 when he became a Anglican Priest... After obtaining his credentials, he began working at a psychiatric hospital. He had married early but was still surprised when his wife sought a divorce. At the same time, he realized that he wouldn't really be missing her much.
Reading of his patients is not an easy thing, but he found that he was able to make some progress. Much of his work was dealing with suicides and family issues. An older woman, Lisa, had taken a fancy to him and would constantly ask if he were married. When he wasn't, he truthfully said that he wasn't, but that it would be awhile before he considered looking for somebody new. Lisa immediately explained that her daughter was coming to visit and that she was very beautiful--not as beautiful as her, but she wanted him to meet her.
When he did, he learned a shocking truth... And Movement 4 began...
As I was preparing to write my review, the first word that came to mind was "lovely." I still ponder why... I loved the synchronicity of what was happening... But then I remembered the surprising ending! Why had I forgotten what happened? It had shocked me and I sat numbly when I finished the book, I remembered... Why did it end that way? What had the author wanted to share this ending?
Still, after a few days had passed before I was ready to write the review, the words lovely, fascinating and delightful had been the words I wanted to use. Do we set aside that which we abhor and forget that it happened? And remember only what brought happiness, joy to our lives? I still don't have an answer for myself. I did indeed experience all of the feelings I've shared, though I was devastated with the ending...
This book is memorable. Now that I've forced myself to remember the ending, I will not soon forget...yet... I loved the story, how it all came together... The final ending for at least one person who happily found a part of her past life... In the end, we must take both the good and the bad...???
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