"Just keep in mind, wherever you go, there you are. kid." These were the great words of wisdom my father offered me when, at seventeen. I was bemoaning my life, my future chances of happiness and my bruised ego. when a once-flaming young romance with a skinny Prince Charming had flitted out. My eyes only rolled in response—"Right. Dad. whatever"—and nose still running and eyes red, I wished that someone would just understand.
But he did. Now as a wise ol' twenty-something. I’ve had a few more scrapes of the heart, but I better realize how loss and leaving are a part of every life. And. most importantly, that accompanying every loss, departure and change comes the giddying prospect of receiving something new. perhaps better; of arriving at a place not yet discovered. And we must all do this alone. It is a journey to discover our sustaining inner strengths. Outside support is icing.
Nonetheless, the platitude my father offered long ago does hold the perennial gem of truth in it. and I wanted to explore this meaningful theme of loss, questioning and eventual self-discovery in Room of One's Own.
Hold still, it's gonna hurt. On this road to confidence and assurance in ourselves as women, we are going to take our lumps. We may find ourselves with the wrong partner, as we see in Leanne Fitzgerald's 'The Hawk, the Kite and the Pigeons" in which a woman decides a modest life without the husband who betrayed her is far better for herself and her young daughter than a rich, loveless life with him. As the Aesop's fable warns in her story: "Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease."
Stumbling from poor choices, the women we meet in this issue undauntedly continue to brush off their knees while seeking that mythical place where all will be safe, equal, healthy and happy. In Carri Hendricks's story "It's All in the Presentation," Lois J. Peterson's "Five Uses for a Paring Knife." and Hannah Holborn's 'Some Children's People" we are given brief insights into the lives of socially marginalized women who are struggling to arrive at a better place in their lives. The theme of seeking meaning in life is also seen vividly in Katherine Sandford's "My Other Life" and "The Fabled Floating Palace of Udaipur."
In Diane Kristjansson's "Sunday Drive" she speaks with her father about his impending death, trying to find the courage to face, and eventually accept, her undetermined future. Malca Litovitz seeks answers as she ponders the death of an unborn child in 'Silver Pin."
Loss, questioning, self-discovery and illumination, the themes of this issue, are beautifully illustrated in an excerpt from Kelly Norah Drukker's poem 'Culled': "I lie beside you, stomach tight, eating up hours / pushing fingertips into your skin so first your skin / will remember me / I am clearing dust from dark places / but you are alive beneath my hands.'
Enjoy the journey.