We live in the South, and as you can imagine it gets pretty hot here during the summer. We have air conditioning (in fact, we replaced it last year with a unit by Carrier that’s really energy efficient), but on the really hot summer days, there’s nothing like a fan to stir the air up and make it feel even cooler.
The best thing about a fan is that it’s a great source of white noise. In fact, I have an app on my phone called Sleep Fan that makes the noise of a fan that I sometimes sleep to. I have a bunch of apps that make noise appropriate for sleep, as well as a lot of recordings of rain and thunder. They help me sleep, because I have tinnitus and the ringing in my ears keeps me awake. You know what I think would be even better than the recordings? A real fan, like a box fan.
I have a little fan in my office by Vornado which helps the cool air coming from the register in my office circulate around the room. It’s an inexpensive little thing, but really does a good job of cooling things off, especially in conjunction with my ceiling fan.
I was visiting my mother years ago, and she lent me her copy of Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain, the story of how Merton chose the monastic life among the Trappists in Kentucky. He died under suspicious circumstances in Thailand: He was there for a monastic conference, where he gave a talk. He went back to his room and didn’t come back. They went into his room and found him lying on the floor clutching a fan, which had apparently shorted out. At least, that’s the story. Rumors have circulated for years that he was assassinated by the CIA. I’m not sure what to believe there, but if you want to read one of the great works of spirituality, read The Seven Storey Mountain.
You might say I’m a fan (short for “fanatic”) of Thomas Merton, a weird thing to say given the way he died. I’m a fan of a lot of things, for example vintage TV, music, logos, and baseball. But you knew that…
To end off on a musical note, here’s a band called Fanny, with their big hit from 1971, “Charity Ball.” I’m a fan of theirs, or at least I was. I guess I still am.