Scratching on paper

As a member of the Friends of the Monroe Public Library I’ve admired the short essays of Betsy Jackson for years. I especially like the way she frames a trip to Longwood Gardens with the story of a long-lost love. And the deceptively simple way she summarizes her feelings about a pending meeting with the man: “The air would be crisp and clear. I would wear my plum-colored scarf and warm black gloves.” It’s a matter-of-fact observation loaded with meaning, the seemingly inconsequential details, the calmness contrasting with the cold palms most of us would feel—small points that say more about the author than pages of back story ever could.

Check out “A Trip of Longwood Gardens” in the Autumn 2009 issue of the Friends’ newsletter and “Lost and Found at the Book Sale” in the Summer 2008 issue. It’s a meditation that starts with forgotten photos and ends with a memory of her mother leaving the author with something more significant than a grocery list.