I just returned from the Sun Magazine’s gathering in Rowe, Massachusetts, where I met a wonderful group of writers and thinkers. I can’t believe how much was packed into 48 hours—a panel that asked if personal essays were self-indulgent (conclusion: no!) a panel that detailed the Sun’s careful editorial process, editor Sy Safransky’s reading his notebook of musings on writing, classes and writing opportunities galore (I ran four different sessions and was highly impressed with the work that was produced in our ten-minute exercises—truly, some remarkable pieces). Perhaps the most moving part of the weekend was the opening, when 75+ people one-by-one read their prepared “contributors’ note” and we all heard the wonderful range of human achievement and yearning.
I was worried about the food—but the wonderful chef proved to this doubting Thomas that a weekend of healthy food (vegetarian! no gluten!) can be DELICIOUS. In fact, my favorite dinner featured nicely seasoned tofu cutlets (with a yummy side of no-dairy mashed potatoes).
There will be another such gathering this year in the fall, at Big Sur, California. If you’re in the area, check it out. You will not meet such a fascinating, kind, fun, smart group of people. In fact, I was totally disoriented when I got to the Hartford airport on my way home and no one was smiling!