Pull Back, Dive In or Both: Writers I Love Series

Feel-it-from-my-heart/gut follows me everywhere. On all levels. I am also a head-strong pragmatic. As a creative, I can usually float both boats. I’ve trained myself to self-edit, axing the extra, making the sentiment ever more concise. Keep only sharp-as-a-knife observations. The reader doesn’t have much time.

Three cheers for the Pull Back Kings and Queens: Anne Sexton, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton, Bernard Malamud, Virginia Woolf (Queen Extraordinaire). Dammit, I also love the watery writers: Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rumi. What even to say about the impossible Harold Brodkey except bow down and pump my [frustrated] fist at the same time? And then there are the writers who hover somewhere else entirely, for instance the Eastern most coast treasure Robert Dash, author of “Notes from Madoo: Making a Garden in the Hamptons.” Mr. Dash crossed my path in the local paper, “The East Hampton Star.” His essays conceal sharp perceptions among facts and preferences on dealing with dirt, living things and seasons. In short, capturing life as it stings and sustains us. His essays are best read whole. Here, try any of these, in particular “Almost Spring.”

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Ah, Blizzard Juno. The first storm of 2015. You stopped by and were generous with your self-control. Just enough snow and wind and closures to really feel like winter without rendering us immobile. I’m not tired of your residue yet. Your decorated landscape shows a knack for season-appropriate design. And the padding absorbs so many sounds yet amplifies the ones that seem most important: tiny winter birds, little claws on dry trees, wind chimes, breath of course and I am nearly convinced that if you listen closely, the passing of shadow by the hour.

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