I wanted this editor’s letter to celebrate a family reunion of sorts, complete with hugs and warm accolades that would welcome you back to our pages after our short summer break, but I struggled to find words strong enough to convey my thoughts. Even now, in mid-September, a summer of national unrest and uncertainty weighs heavy on my heart.
I think that’s why I was struck by Judy Volkmann’s art and in particular, the series she titled Faces of Humanity. In this ten-part series, Judy uses a single face to capture emotion and what it means to be human. I was especially moved by the stark blacks and whites of “Face Value,” shown here, because it seems to issue some of the same challenges we make to our writers: “Dig deep. Go beneath the surface so the reader can see what you’re seeing and feel what you’re feeling.”
Judy writes that the face is not meant to represent anyone specifically, but as I sat with each one—including pieces titled “Awakening,” “Enlightenment,” “Disillusionment,” “Captive,” “Woven”—I saw myself and others I know. I recognized these faces in the pieces we’ve published and the comments readers have shared. I hope you do too.
And I hope your reflections lead to discussions and that those discussions lead to action. I challenge you to dig deep.
Welcome to our September issue.
P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. See you there!
The Architect by Becky Tuch
A Conversation with Jessica Strawser by Holly Rizzuto Palker
A Review of Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu by Jamie Sumner
A Review of The Wide Circumference of Love by Katherine D. Stutzman
Photos and artwork by Judy Volkmann and Heather Vrattos