I’m not going to lie. Writing a ‘letter from the editor’ is a daunting task. As a reader, I usually tend to skip the front page and get right into the good stuff. I have been very nervous about how to fully convey the depth of pride I feel in this first compilation of human process.
I think what strikes me most about this first issue is that it brings together a group of amazing writers who have given themselves over to the reflection of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage, traditionally, is a long journey to a shrine or holy site and is a worshipful process. However, a modern-day translation can be applied here in the sense of progression and coping with change. From Niki Blois’ graduate angst to Austin Danson’s deep-set disillusionment of home, there are many expressions that readers can connect and engage with. One of these expressions comes from a sense of identity in relation to place. In Sarah vs. Sara, Sarah asks, “If no one sees me a certain way, am I that person anymore?” These pieces leave us with lingering questions about ways that we develop and grow from our experiences. The formation of identity is a life-long process and this issue is full of incredible stories and artistic expressions of what it means to be in the midst of that process.
Pilgrimage emphasizes the journey over the destination. In Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer explores the idea that when we journey together we learn more about each other. Even though his tales arguably hold more wrongs than rights, Chaucer knew there was power in sharing stories. Issue .01 is just the beginning of this documentation of change and growth through experience. Some experiences can be painful, as Kimmie Lucas explores in her piece. She writes, “Your pain is not who you are, and it isn’t a permanent reality…” This is what Issue .01 has become–a realization that our experiences aren’t permanent, but they are something we can all mutually learn from and help each other through. Regardless of the good or bad nature of our experiences, there is power in listening and sharing. I want to invite you to listen well to these brave stories and to perhaps think about your own story and the power you have to share it. In the words of Chaucer, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I’m so excited to venture with you and equally excited for you to venture with us!