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Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility

Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility

by Roger Rosenblatt

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"A booster shot of wisdom when we need it most."—Alan Alda

"Cold Moon knocked me on my ass then held out its hand and hauled me back up, tossing me into the brawling fray, joyous and more hopeful than ever." —Paul Harding, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Tinkers

The Cold Moon occurs in late December, auguring the arrival of the winter solstice. Approaching the winter solstice of his own life, Roger Rosenblatt offers a book dedicated to the three most important lessons he has learned over his many years: an appreciation of being alive, a recognition of the gift and power of love, and the necessity of exercising responsibility toward one another. In a rough-and-tumble journey that moves like the sea, Rosenblatt rolls from elegy to comedy, distilling a lifetime of great tales and moments into a tonic for these perilous and fearful times. Cold Moon: a book to offer purpose, to focus the attention on life’s essentials, and to lift the spirit.​

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781885983893
Publisher: Turtle Point Press
Publication date: 10/27/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 346,674
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Roger Rosenblatt is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, four national bestsellers. and seven off-Broadway plays. His essays for Time magazine and the PBS NewsHour have won two George Polk Awards, the Peabody, and the Emmy, among others. In 2015, he won the Kenyon Review Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement. He held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing at Harvard. He is Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at SUNY Stony Brook/Southampton.

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Excerpts from Cold Moon

Midnight on December 12, 2019—12/12/12—nearing the advent of the year of flawless hindsight. A bloodshot orange presents itself without notice on the northern horizon, just above the dark beach and the dark sea. This is the Cold Moon, variously identified as the Long Night’s Moon, the last before the winter solstice. My weathered mind flicks to my own winter solstice, the coming of my winter time of life. Through a three-windowed wall, I watch and brood.


Better to know where to go than how to get there. I wander from thought to thought, having learned but three things from my long night’s moon. I believe in life. I believe in love. I believe we are responsible for each other.


I doubt God every other day, yet I pray all the time. I pray without God. Prayer is the sound of longing. In the chapel of my longing, I pray.


Heraclitis was cute but full of it. You can never step into the same river twice? Sure you can. It's just that the river exists in a state of continuity, so what you step into is the motion that defines the river. But it's always the same river.
The point is that certain things are made of change, and the river is always true to the change that defines it. Life, too, is made of change.


If I were asked to create God—from scratch, I mean, the way Thomas Carlyle rewrote his history—I’d start with an ocean wave, and build from there. One wave would become several, then several billion, and the power and the glory would finally reveal itself in the cold comfort of the non-committal, calm and exploding sea. My kind of God.


"Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders." That's Faulkner telling us that memory is an act of faith. I remembering you, you remembering me-these are acts of love driven by the imagination. We may not remember each other accurately. We may not remember each other at all. Yet we remember loving.

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