I've almost finished reading Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, but I'm not sure I can finish it. The book is very good, very compelling, but also extremely violent: by which I mean, a many-page description of a heretic being burned alive, etc. And the problem with historical novels is that I know what the ending will be, and this one will end with the main character getting beheaded, no doubt in present-tense "what does it feel like to get beheaded?" detail. Can you wonder, in this season of dread, why I've become increasingly reluctant to pick up the book? And the next book on my reading list is David Treuer's The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present--also guaranteed to be a heartbreaker.
Finally, last night, I gave in and took a break from my painful list. Now I'm rereading Larry McMurtry's Texasville and feeling much better. I tell you: I was almost driven to P. G. Wodehouse. That's how gloomy my intake has been.
Today I have to work and Tom and Paul do not, so I guess we'll see how that shakes out in this tiny, hear-every-noise house. I am tired from a weekend of harvest chores and get-ready-for-fall deep housecleaning. But it all needed to get done, and it all did get done, and I'm glad, though I hope that next weekend I can maybe have a real day off.
And I did draft two pages of a new poem that is not nearly finished. So that's something too.