The time it changed:
There’s a book by Edith Wharton, and when I read it for an American Lit class, I didn’t like the style, the content, the binding and paper were good, though. Book was called Ethan Fromme, I think.

While I can’t say anything good about the book now, or then, portions of the story have stuck with me. Prompted by the “fifteen books” quest, I looked. I must’ve lost my copy of that text in the great flood of ’95. Stylistically, I kept thinking about a portion of that novel, since, in preparation for New Mexico, I was reading Death Comes for the Archbishop. Another book I’d thought I’d read, and frankly, a story about a devout Catholic is a topic I can avoid. Little over done with religious stuff.

The amusing, to me, idea is that I’m in a Catholic Cathedral several times a week – great place to pray. Doubt I’m praying to the Catholic God ™. Thank goodness the Goddess is a forgiving wench.

The moment it changed, and it’s important, part of Wharton’s novel keeps coming to mind.

South Texas is in the grips of yet another terrible heat wave. A dozen days over 100 in June, no measurable rain all year, 2007 was the wettest year on record – ever – and it’s been dry since then? The hundred degree heat doesn’t phase me; however, it knocks the socks off a lot of people. On the news, in the paper, on the web, in the last week? Two elderly sisters died from heat complications.

The house had Air Conditioning, it was off. There were fans. Not in use. A neighbor – allegedly – looked in on the aging sisters some time before, and while there were both AC and fans, the sisters didn’t wnt to run up the electrical bill.

I’ve got an aging aunt, devout, seriously devout, Lutheran. Missouri Synod. Heavy stuff. I like her church, the building itself is a copy of another church I have found memories, a Lutheran house of worship, outside Seattle (WA), in Port Angeles. Buried an aunt up there, too.

The singular memory, though, it has to do with the devout Xtian, and that one aunt, here. She was in a huge amount of pain, one time, took her to church, yet she insisted on standing, in pain, kneeling, in pain, and sitting, in pain, through the whole ordeal. Very important, and sacrifice, have to suffer. Me? I’d gobbled the maximum dosage of doctor-prescribed dope and let it go. But that’s me. I’ve been known to worship at the alter of modern medicine.

There was an article in the New Yorker magazine, an issue or two past, and it mentioned Edith Wharton, who I couldn’t remember, or the novel’s name, which I couldn’t remember at the time, and then the synopsis, which I didn’t recall. However, there’s still a very visceral feeling, and rather pointed images, I recall from that book. It speaks to an age, to a mind-set, and, in my current world view? Also speaks of Scorpio.

Couldn’t recall the novel the author, the passage. Still, a feeling stuck.

Why I live like a monk.

(click for full-size) and its family of websites participate in affiliate programs, which means there are material connections between the ads, and this site. for appearances —
See the fineprint for full disclosure and terms.

© 1994 – 2022 Kramer Wetzel for

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah Jul 8, 2009 @ 11:47

    Don’t go for pain, yet you live like a monk. What’s wrong with this picture? Monks in hawaiian shirts…sandals…hmmmm.

    When it comes to triple digit temperatures, I say fine I’ll pay the bill when it comes, but turn on the fans, the a/c, whatever. Let me live in the refrigerator or the freezer. Mostly the extra expense is taking an extra shower in the hottest part of the afternoon then sitting, wet, in front of the fan. Lovely!

Next post:

Previous post: