It’s a scorcher today, the kind of humidity-laden weather that brings with it heat indexes in the triple-digits. The Husband tells me that said heat index is 110 in our native Philadelphia today and I’ve heard it is only slightly less than that here in Pittsburgh. This, in the midst of a summer that has been very much the opposite of baked days.
Coincidentally or not, I’ve just finished a work-related blog post about Divine Nothingness, Pittsburgh-born and current Lambertville, NJ resident Gerald Stern’s latest poetry collection. Among the excerpts I was trying to work into that particular post was “Hell,” which is about a different kind of heat.
“…and who and what we were we couldn’t exactly
tell for we were covered in soot and hopped
away from the heat like hot dancers
for we were creating flames for those on the mountain
who drove up the steep sides to see the view
and took their visitors with them so they could express
their gratitude …”
~ from “Hell: Jones and Laughlin” by Gerald Stern
My strenuous output today has been limited to an early morning trip to ALDI for the week’s grocery shopping; at 9 a.m., it was already sweltering and my heat-induced sinus headache/soon-to-be migraine has been raging all day. I’m grateful for central air-conditioning and a chance to stay indoors piddling around on the computer, catching up on blogs and preparing some posts for the week, and listening to some music.
It hasn’t been a particularly busy weekend. I had to work yesterday morning and even though the event itself wasn’t difficult – it was a very enjoyable celebration, actually – afterwards I was so exhausted that I came home and promptly fell asleep for three hours. My sleep patterns are out of whack; I’ve been waking up at 2 a.m. Sometimes I’m able to get back to sleep immediately and other nights it takes upwards of an hour or more.
Earlier this week, a big-name bestseller was sent to me for a freelance book review and I’ll probably take a crack at this one shortly. It is so far removed from my usual genres of choice that I almost declined this particular assignment but that’s not really an option at the moment. The more paying freelancing opportunities that come my way, the better.
Doing so will mean temporarily interrupting my current read, which is To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing by Simon Garfield. I picked this one up from the library because of my nostalgia for letter-writing. It doesn’t seem all that long ago when, as a teenager, I would spend summer days like this one in my room writing long letters to numerous pen pals near and far. Part of me misses the writing and receiving of those heartfelt letters, very much.
Between podcasts, I’ve been listening to Our Souls at Night on audio. (I saw a print version at the library yesterday and snagged it, so I may switch over to that.) It’s bittersweet that this is Kent Haruf’s last book; it’s told such simply and with such feeling and I’m really liking this story of two people who are struggling with the long-term loneliness that can accompany the loss of loved ones.
What are you reading on this steamy Sunday?