After a long, hot summer of Camp Mom (two kids + one 40 pound puppy over three months of sweltering heat and almost-daily thunderstorms), I am so grateful for September. Kids are back in school (even my 2.5 year old!), weather is beginning to cool off, and I finally have time and energy to tackle some of the projects buzzing around in my sun-soaked brain. And none of them involve fingerpaints or glitter. Yet.
I'm working on a review for Women's Review of Books of an interesting book by a native New Orleanian, Hearing Sappho in New Orleans by Ruth Salvaggio. The premise is that the author, while mucking out her flooded home after Katrina, found a copy of Sappho's poems, and she begins thinking about how Sappho has been dug out of the muck for 2,000 years--just won't stay buried. She argues that New Orleans is much the same way; its culture goes back too far and too deep to be completely lost. It's a scholarly quest for the origins of New Orleans lyric poetry, and a very interesting ride.
The difficult parts, for me, are reliving some of the immediate aftermath of Katrina, remembering details of that time. And of course, reading and writing about lost homes and lives immediately after Hurricane Isaac did the same thing for so many families around Louisiana--it feels like the trouble never really stops. Yet that's Salvaggio's point, over 300 years, times of trouble and sorrow, there are threads that connect the past to present, and how comforting that is, to know that someone has done this before and wrote something down for someone else to find. Now it's my turn.