This has been a year of weather extremes in Portland. Last winter the city was socked by snow and ice storms it didn’t have the money, equipment, personnel, or material (salt and sand) to deal with. Everything was shut down for days. We couldn’t get our car out of the cul-de-sac for a week – which was fine with me.
Last month, Portland came within a degree of breaking its all-time high temperature. I heard from someone that that day Portland was the third hottest place in the world, hotter even than Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Portland also came close to breaking its record for the most consecutive days over 100 degrees. The weather outside today is a relatively mild 83 degrees but it is humid and I am grumpy.
I’ve expended a lot of energy this year complaining about the weather. I know we don’t have it so bad – I’ve heard stories of heat in Phoenix so intense that it melts the pavement – but perspective is difficult for me on this. Mid-August is usually when I start to physically crave the rain, and this year especially so.
I’ve been reading Kathleen Norris’s latest book, “Acedia & Me.” In addition to being a personal, cultural, historical, spiritual and literary exploration of acedia – an uncommon enough word, meaning “absence of care,” that Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize it – this moving book recalls her marriage to the poet David Dwyer, his struggles with mental illness, and his death from cancer in 2003.… Read the rest