Per usual for me, I have several books going at the same time. I acquired this habit after years of university work, taking multiple courses with multiple assignments all due at the same time. Another habit I developed as a scholar involved always promising myself, “I’ll come back and reread this book.” I have almost never reread a book.
Having graduated in May, I have developed a newer habit, giving myself permission to put a book down if I can’t stay awake while reading it. I also drink lots of Espresso coffee. Sometimes, I get a book that will work better as a reference book and set it aside to use from time to time.
I have a book on ancient Egypt from Oxford University that fits the reference description. Among other things, the book includes a king list for all the dozens of dynasties before the Romans.
For example, I have just finished reading Richard Ford’s Lord of Eternity: Divine Order and the Great Pyramid and used the Oxford book as a reference that told me when Cheops (builder of the Great Pyramid??) reigned.
I have also been reading The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson. I am at “Military Might 1322-1069 B.C.” in the Wilkinson book, long after Cheops and long before the Greeks led by Alexander (ancestor of Cleopatra) invaded.
I ordered the Ford book on Kindle, but could not see the mathematical figures, so I ordered a paperback copy with slightly better diagrams.
When the Ford book arrived, David saw it and said, “When you finish that book, I want to read it.” This delighted me because I think David watches far too much Fox TV and doesn’t read enough, and I am concerned with his mental deterioration.
This morning, while David watched Fox with the sound turned down and the captions on (so I could read), I decided to give myself a break and began reading Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad about My Neck and I Remember Nothing. Both books are collections of essays, so I will probably not remember which is which when I think of a funny anecdote. Both are about the delights of aging. You don’t have to be as old as me to enjoy these essays, although she was the same age as me when she died, so we had many experiences in common like the women’s movement, child rearing and ‘keeping up appearances.’ I recommend them to anyone worried about wrinkles who needs a good laugh.
After I finished my morning allotment of Ephron essays (2…I am savoring these books), I turned to the new edition of the New Yorker and read a wonderful essay by Sarah Payne Stuart “Pilgrim’s Progress” about her adventures buying, restoring and selling houses in Concord Massachusetts.
This morning, I said the word ‘sacristy’ and three times and David thought I said ‘tapestry.’ Finally, I was shouting, and the point I was trying to make (that some folks are seeing Our Lady of Guadalupe in a Ginkgo tree trunk in New Jersey) was lost.
I wanted to share with David that a 90-year old woman had bonked an Evangelical over the head with a white rose because he was standing near the tree thumping a Bible and calling all the folks looking at the tree trunk ‘idol worshippers’ and ‘witches’ (New York Times, below link).
Called an idol worshipper myself when I was a practising Catholic, I feel sympathy for the ‘tree worshippers.’ I tried to explain this to David, but as he had failed to wear his hearing aid, it was like talking to a post, as Mom used to say.
I have moved beyond Catholicism and go for the trees these days. I think trees are sentient beings and having seen more than one felled (no kidding), I swear I heard a scream each time.
My new header above is a shot of Washington from the end of the runway at Reagan National Air Port. I took it before the big drought turned the grass brown.