of Finding Moosewood, Finding God
I think of this book as my Spiritual
Memoir. But it was not always so.
I worked on it for many years,
through many versions.
One of the publishing worlds
greatest literary agents, the late Owen Laster, read an early
version of the manuscript and was extremely complimentary, praising
the writing and eager to get to the work of selling it to a major
Fortunately, he didnt. He
I say fortunately because that
early version of the work -- I realize only now -- was not right.
It was not right because I was not right.
It not only told the story of
how I had given up my TV News career of thirty-five years and
with my wife transformed our lives by moving to a small, empty
island off the coast of Maine, but it told readers that they
should find a way to make for themselves a similar LifeBreak,
as I called it. I preached. It was arrogant. And shallow. I started
to re-work it.
At the same time, I began pulling
together tales from my fascinating TV years, the adventures from
wars to politics (between which I found little difference), going
on an African giraffe roundup with William Holden, rowboating
in the Bois de Boulogne with Sophia Loren, playing softball
with Stephen King, going to Budapest to learn to do the Rubiks
Cube from Rubik himself, doing the first live broadcast of a
solar eclipse from a mountain village in Mexico, visiting Jimmy
Cagney on his horse farm, Joan Miro as he watched his latest
lithograph roll off the press, joining Aaron Copland conducting
and reflecting at Tanglewood, petting a whale, doing the only
interview with assassin Sirhan Sirhan, being gassed while broadcasting
the ugly riots at the 68 Democratic convention in Chicago,
and, oh yes, conducting the Boston Pops. Many tales and, happily
reminiscing, I spun them together.
And what did I have then?
It was a worthy and wise freelance
editor, Dennis Mathis of closereaders.com. (I heartily
recommend his perspective and skills to anyone in need of editorial
consultation.) He persuaded me to weave the two together and
helped me find the most powerful ways of doing that.
As, once again, I re-worked the
material I began to understand some things about not just the
book but myself that I had been so derelict in not realizing
earlier. I had always appreciated how my life had been blessed,
directed by inexplicable flukes and happenstances, but I had
not brought myself to acknowledge that those, in fact, were not
unguided events, but that throughout my life, I had been guided
by a force far greater than I, and that force was the hand of
a providential God working through the Holy Spirit, the God-Within.
Actually I had come to realize
this during our time on the island, Moosewood, but I had been
far too slow to acknowledge it. But isnt one of the debts
owed the recipient of God-blessed serendipities the obligation
to speak them out loud?
This book, this merging of my
two books, would be my opportunity to speak them out loud.
To praise my Creator not just for his multifold creations but
for my chance to live in their midst for thirteen blessed years
with the wife He gave me more than fifty years ago.
And now to proclaim it all in