The past month I have been feeling stifled and entertaining some old and stubborn ghosts. Throughout, I have been reminded to “let go” and realize fully, myself. Last Wednesday, on a particularly troubling, although sunny spring day I left work to take a walk. I was agonizing over something foolish and so put Joanna Newsom’s song “Time, as a Symptom of Love” on my headphones. For those unfamiliar, the song is, in part, about having the courage to transcend doubt and ride, unencumbered, the current: “But stand brave life-liver, bleeding out your days in the river of time.” There is a small crescendo of bird calls that enters the song and, just as it commenced, I looked down for the first time on my walk. At my feet was a sterling-silver robin, a charm that had presumably dropped from someone’s keychain or bracelet in that precise spot. I took my headphones off and the air now, too, was tingled with birdsong. I rubbed the charm with my thumb, put it in my pocket, and looked up at the sun with my mouth slightly open. I gave it a thumbs up and kept walking.
It wasn’t until 2 years ago, after a breakdown and subsequently reading the Romantic theories of Wordsworth and Coleridge, that I began taking a more active role in making and interpreting my reality. I began metaphorizing my observations of the natural and social world around me to reflect and instruct my own inner searching. Upon doing so, the Universe began conspiring with me, attuning me to a synchronicity I had never before witnessed or given heed to. I believe it is, in part, the role of art to behold, enact, and communicate this synchronicity; to make the inner and outer realities one. Throughout this issue we see that occurring. Poet Matt Rader uses both gneiss and a cave in Verdon as channels towards inner-meaning; Matthew Nienow builds his poem “From the Middle of It” much as he did the house upon which it reflects; Maren Klemp manifests her own inner turmoil in a harrowing series of photographs exploring constriction; and Bill Callahan, well, he just is the is he is, and that we all are.
As evidenced by my new silver friend, connections and affirmations abound if you are open enough to receive them. There are many such affirmations in this issue. Open yourself to them, enjoy them and share them. Then, keep walking.
Editor, Fogged Clarity