Greenwich Pen Women, a branch of the National League of American Pen Women, is a non-profit organization of women artists, writers, and musicians. We offer mutual support and exchange of ideas to encourage and inspire excellence in original creative work.

Memory of Roses by GPW Linda Hortick
“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December” — James M. Barrie


Note from our President:

December, 2023

We have, I hope, all enjoyed Thanksgiving and weathered Black Friday.

I took a walk down by the river today. The waterfall is a surging white cascade and the rain hasn’t even arrived to add its own contribution to the current velocity. Up here, in Silvermine, an artist named Frank Hutchens, rebuilt the waterfall after it was washed out by a flood around the turn of the twentieth century. Clearly, this artist knew what he was doing because what he engineered from the old mill dam is beautiful.

I walk along picking out the sycamores – the school kids call them camouflage trees – and the old maples on the bank. And here and there, the marsh grasses. And seeing the latter, I think about a short story I am reading for my book club, The Snow Goose, couched in a far bleaker setting in England, written at the beginning of World War II. Yet, this story is about an earlier war and a man so disfigured that his only retreat from the repugnance of others was to carve out a solitary existence in a marsh. He took up residence in an abandoned lighthouse. There, he took care of injured waterfowl. And first, a girl carrying a hurt snow goose – rare in that part of the world – came along. And then, the desperation of Dunkirk.

I am reminded by this story of the very human need to connect with others. To interact. To share. To combat loneliness. To help when help is needed. To find joy, commonality, even love. “No man is an island…” I saw in the newspaper that even Dr. Ruth has weighed in on the subject.

On our way to Easton, Massachusetts, my sister got my centenarian-plus mother out of the car at a roadside stop to “stretch her legs.” As she did so, Mom slipped out of her grasp and fell on the asphalt. A driver, a complete stranger, coming into the parking lot, came to a screeching halt, ran over without even shutting the car door, to help my sister get Mom back on her feet. Mom was okay. That gesture, to selflessly help when help is needed, made our Thanksgiving.

As we progress through a frenzy of sales and requests for money toward the holidays, weigh what you choose to do and why. I know you would anyway.

And be extra careful in the parking lot.

Write, paint, make music!

Leigh Grant
President, Greenwich Pen Women