Hi there, I’m Anita Mathias. I currently live in beautiful Oxford, England, my favourite place in the world, though I have lived, for a roughly equal amount of time, in three countries–India, the United States, and England.
I’ve written five books: a collection of memoiristic essays, Wandering Between Two Worlds (Amazon.co.uk) or Amazon.com. A lavishly illustrated children’s book, Francesco, Artist of Florence: The Man Who Gave Too Much (Amazon.co.uk) or Amazon.com. And most recently, The Story of Dirk Willems: The Man Who Died to Save His Enemy (Amazon.com) and Amazon.co.uk.
I have won a writing fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, and my writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The London Magazine, Commonweal, America, The Christian Century, and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies. I have blogged for Tearfund in Cambodia.
My blog is called Dreaming Beneath the Spires, because that’s what I do… dream in “that sweet city with her dreaming spires” as Matthew Arnold wrote of Oxford.
I write about how on earth to follow Christ in this fast-paced, techy world twenty centuries removed from him. Seeking (and finding!) happiness. Travel (a lot). Productivity. Decluttering (which I wish I didn’t have to do!). Health (a lot, since I am a cancer survivor, now five years past my diagnosis, phew!). Good habits, since I am continually hunting those down. Sometimes, on how to be happy and married! Love. Forgiveness. And always, the Bible, a book which has puzzled, fascinated and enchanted me all my life. Writing. The books I read. Long walks, a joy I am not particularly good at, and what gardening teaches me.
I post once a week, occasionally twice. Please subscribe, and I will quietly visit you in your inbox.
A Fuller Biography
I spent my early childhood in Jamshedpur, India, the country’s Steel City. However, I was packed off to boarding school at the age of nine, to St. Mary’s Convent, Ramnee Park in Nainital, in the Himalayas. And yes, it was as beautiful as it sounds.
I was a rebel there, dubbed “the naughtiest girl in school” but then in a teenage U-turn wanted nothing more than to follow Christ as radically as I could, and joined Mother Teresa’s convent as a novice. I spent fourteen months there… it wasn’t my vocation, but I did have the extraordinary experience of living in the same house as Mother Teresa, “Mother House,” and of speaking to her, one on one, a few times.
In another equally extraordinary experience and blessing, I studied English Language and English Literature at Somerville College, Oxford University from where I have a BA and an MA. I also have a Masters in English and Creative Writing from Ohio State University, and have done work on a Ph.D in Creative Writing at SUNY-Binghamton, but wisely, or foolishly quit to get married.
I have been married for 30 years!! And we are happily married, which is an achievement I’m proud of, and which has taken attention and work and, well, love.
We have two children, Zoe who did Theology at Oxford University for her BA, and has a Masters in Theology at Durham where she will be the Student Worker and International Worker at St. Nic’s Church. Irene is doing Medicine at Christ Church, Oxford University ; she’s in her third year.
I’ve lived 12 years in Williamsburg, Virginia, where my husband Roy taught at the College of William and Mary. And we’ve lived in Oxford for the last 15 years again drawn here by Roy’s math.
I love travel. At last count, Roy and I have visited 35 countries… and counting. And I read, always, continually, on the page, and on audio, which, yes, I consider reading!
I grew up Roman Catholic but am now a mere Christian!
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