Homepage Spring 2018

“Moving Through Space” by Jean Banas, acrylic on canvas, 46″ x 47″.

Happy Spring, Happy Easter, and Happy April Fool’s Day! I have to say, that’s quite a trifecta for this, our April 2018 issue, with the theme of “CAKE.” Why cake, you ask? I’m not sure, really, but it’s borrowed from a wonderful flash piece in this issue because after reading it I started to think about all the connotations behind the word. On the one hand, it’s a dismissal, an expression of ease (piece of cake, a cakewalk) when in fact making a cake is anything BUT easy, as anyone who bakes will tell you. But it’s also a decadence, a celebratory food to share on birthdays, weddings, graduations, retirements, you name it. If there’s cake, we’re celebrating. Unless, of course, the suggestion is to “Let them eat cake,” in which case it’s a symbol of the privileged upper class being laughably out of touch with the plight of the everyman. Basically, I’m a fan of any word with many angles, so CAKE it is. Come have a slice with us.

There’s quite a bit of wonderful work in this issue, from a diverse array of authors, including one first-time published author, a feat that always makes me a little bit proud. It’s a special type of joy to be someone’s first publication in part because I remember how great that first publication felt and also because being the first to recognize an emerging talent is getting the opportunity to introduce their work to the world. I like being an artistic conduit.

On a more personal note, I’ve been dealing recently with a gut-wrenching mental health crisis involving a member of my family. That has nothing in particular to do with this issue, of course … except it does, because our focus is on recovery and in the process of selecting work for each issue, I read many heartbreaking stories—some with happy endings, some with little or no resolution—and I’ve come to realize how pervasive this problem is. Everyone I know either has a family member who struggles with some aspect of mental health, or struggles themselves. Whether it be anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, dementia, or any number of other hurdles in the mind, we’ve all been affected, some in multiple forms or from multiple sides. It’s pervasive, it’s very real, and not only do these sufferers walk among us, they ARE us.

So I dedicate this issue to all of you affected by mental disorders and/or mental illness. Keep at it. Keep going. It’s the best any of us can do.

And as always, thank you for reading.

Yours in Recovery,

Mary Akers