Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility

Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility

by Roger Rosenblatt

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Overview

A New York Times Book Review New and Noteworthy Selection.

"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.​

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Reviews



Rosenblatt's "memories of his life summon ours, without warning or apology. Line by line, he helps us find softer landings . . . We move on to now, in the throes of this pandemic. He never mentions it, and yet he does . . . ‘Everybody grieves.’ More memories, still raw. So many lost to this pandemic, with many more to die . . . . Let us abide by Rosenblatt’s No. 3: We are responsible for each other."—Washington Post



"In brief passages connected by association and with the improvisational feel of jazz, [Rosenblatt] moves fluidly among memoir, philosophy, natural history, and inspiration. . . . A tonic for tough times filled with plainspoken lyricism, gratitude, and good humor."—Kirkus Reviews



"A dreamlike collage of memories—tearfilled, joyful . . . unfailingly hopeful." —Foreword Reviews



Praise



"Cold Moon is a delight—just what we need in these anxious, distracted times. Funny, touching, trenchant and wise. . . . Better than deep breathing." —Alice McDermott



"By the sheer beauty of its language, and the prevailing belief that we all are linked, our lives interlocked, Cold Moon gives us essential truth in a time of untruth and darkness. Roger Rosenblatt turns the idea of our shared existence into a breathing life force."—Grace Schulman

Kirkus Reviews

2020-11-01
Memories and musings from the winter solstice of a life.

"Better to know where to go than how to get there,” writes the veteran essayist and author of fiction and nonfiction. “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.” At 80, the author is in the "cold moon" of his life, the last full moon of the year. In brief passages connected by association and with the improvisational feel of jazz, he moves fluidly among memoir, philosophy, natural history, and inspiration, riffing on everything from the migration of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle to the landscape photographs of Oleg Ershov and the plot of a movie he saw in 1946 called Stairway to Heaven. It played for one week in the only movie theater in Westport, Connecticut, and when his mother took 5-year-old Roger to see it on Monday, he asked her to take him again every day after that. After each viewing, they would walk next door for a soda, and his mother would ask him if the movie had been as good as the day before. Better, he would say. Though much of the book is a meditation on aging, it is illuminated by childhood memories like this, one more charming and emblematic than the next. In another passage, the author recounts walking into a stranger's house and sitting down to play their gorgeous Steinway, which had “the gleam of a black stallion.” When the neighbor escorted her 6-year-old visitor home, she commented to his mother on his fearlessness. "It's the way he is," his mother replied. "He thinks the world is waiting for him to walk in and play the piano." Nearly 75 years later, he hasn't changed a bit.

A tonic for tough times filled with plainspoken lyricism, gratitude, and good humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781885983886
Publisher: Turtle Point Press
Publication date: 10/27/2020
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 99,685
Product dimensions: 4.75(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

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.




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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.




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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.




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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.




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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.




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"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.

Customer Reviews