Writing is no easy affair; no casual evening stroll. It perhaps might be agreed that the commonest phrase in the writing world asides the “show don’t tell” mantra, is “writing is hard”, even though I believe “good writing is hard” would do a better job at the idea. What is often not said is, “editing is hard”. Because in a fast-paced world like today’s, with everyone believing their writing merits your time, the sheer number of submissions in journals is cripplingly daunting—ours not excluded.
Be that as I may, perhaps no time is better deserving of proper narratives/writing—owing to the hounding noise of extreme right-winged anti-human/anti-reason sentiments springing up the world over—than now. This is not to salute the opposite extreme either—the extreme liberals, with whom there is no sense of balance. But more than ever, in the teeth of this many (distracting) dins threatening the collective, good writing must rise to the occasion, worm its way into our soul, and must remind us of our fragile humanity; remind us of our sentinel duties on the watchtower of our democracy.
In the words of Barrack Obama in an interview with Michiko Kakutani, he said “we are a story telling specie.” This is one of those succinct truths that is absolute both in wording and meaning. On account of this, narratives either impel or expel us as a collective. Forward or backward. In or out. This is a simplest reason why the world have no need for fascists, why the world have no need for people for whom thought and reason is not a habit; people for whom the highway and hatred is the only answer.
We are reminded of our fickleness, of our leaching nature as humans in the wisdom of words.
Heather Bourbeau’s poem, The Birdmen of Instabul brings this to mind:
“…I have found the company of men who know
the attraction of denial, the beauty of survival,
the straining to be heard.
I have savored the sweetest sorrow from your voice
as you cry for a female who will never come
to find you, love you, and save you.
I have ached for your slavery to liberate me.
My freedom in your pain.”
This wisdom continues in the solemn profundity in the poet, John Grochalsky. Karen Peterson reminds us of our hardwired nature to trusting the exterior, judging a book often by its cover—an affliction that boomerangs over and over again.
For what it’s worth, the combinatorial stanzas and paragraph sutured into issue 29 is the reason I read, the reason I chose this arduous path of writing, of editing. And like me, I am confident that you the reader will be the least disenfranchised by the singing wisdom and crafty melody of this issue. Because in all these cache of words and phrases, is a mirror of our own humanity.
Dear all, shall we?—issue 29.