In “River Relative,” contributor Bethan Rees writes about different kinds of blue, and ends with “the kind that I’d put/all my malleable hope in to.”
Every writer and artist who contributed to this issue put all their malleable hope into it. There is great pain in this issue and great suffering, the pain and suffering of sexual violence survivors, domestic violence survivors, sex trafficking survivors, and those in mourning, but there is also great hope too. There is the kind of blue that looks to the future, and the future is bright.
We know that trauma changes the brain. It changes the DNA, physically alters it. We know that trauma fragments memory. We know that trauma wounds us and ends us, breaks us and takes us by its teeth and into its maw.
But we also know that there is post-traumatic growth. That psychologists have studied the impacts of trauma and crises, and that for many trauma survivors, there is positive change afterward. There is growth; there is blossoming.
This doesn’t mean that there is any reason for abuse, that there is ever a reason for what we go through. But it does mean that hope is possible. And every single one of the contributors to this issue demonstrates that.
In “After Fear,” Wanda Delgane writes, “My body is made/of diamonds and stitched together by heaven and most of all it’s not yours.”
Survivors owe no one anything. But we also have so much to give. We are stitched together by heaven. We made it through the bloody maw, through the roiling surf, and emerged from the other side.
Welcome to Issue Five. Read the poetry, the prose. View the paintings, the collages, the photography. Take off your shoes and stay awhile.
It can be safe here.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief