Sunday, February 26, 2012
A New Book "Kayak Morning"
In 2007, Roger Rosenblatt's 38-year-old daughter, Amy, died unexpectedly of an undetected heart condition. In his first memoir "Making Toast," (2010) an outlet for his grief, he chronicled how he moved to his daughter's home in Maryland, pulling everyone together to create a hectic, mutigenerational household (caring for his wife, two grown sons and six grandchildren) saving them all and helping to force them into the future. In his new book, "Kayak Morning" this bereaved father speaks on this unacceptable loss, a loss he still deals with. But as he and all of us who have lost a child, say, "Even as we get on with our lives, the grief remains with us always." And so, what can we do to move on in a positive way?
This is our challenge, he comes to understand, as he explores alone for many hours one morning in his kayak, both his own life and that of the half mile long creek. "The nice thing about kayaking is that you ride the surface, which is akin to dealing with the task at hand." Rosenblatt, a versatile author of more than 15 books, an award-winning journalist, playwright and teacher, says that writing, like kayaking, requires precision and restraint and keeps him afloat.
While in the kayak he explores the pain, bafflement and yet deepening compassion that have engulfed him since Amy's death. His observations are sometimes somber but always rich. "You can't always make your way in the world by moving up or down. Boats move laterally on water, which levels everything." Drifting on the water, he he realizes that art does not make up a life. Nor does experience or death. It is Love.
"Kayak Morning" is a solitary book. Rosenblatt is alone with his own thoughts. He does not update you about his family that he introduces in 'Making Toast." What is here is the thoughs and feelings of a father ,who also happens to be a writer, as he struggles with a grief that seems to go on with no end in sight. Readers, however, may find his words comforting and insightful.
Since there are so few books written by bereaved fathers, many men may also find Rosenblatt's newest book comforting to how they, too, are feeling.