It’s been a minute, I know. Forgive me.
A few weeks ago, I was helping distribute flyers for a bicycle scavenger hunt taking place in Charlottesville this April. I love flyering. I love saying hey to cool people in cool spots and letting them know about cool upcoming events.
On three separate occasions that day, I was asked, “Are you writing?”
What could I say? Not really. No, I haven’t been writing. The past year of my life has been a shitshow. My relationship of nearly eight years fell apart. Any sense of financial security got knocked out from under me. I became, once again, a single mom. I took a second job. I took long walks. I packed my pockets with tissues. I cried all over the place. I saw the same people every morning, my face covered in tears.
And, no, I wasn’t fucking writing—even though, yes, I know it would have helped.
Instead, I spent time with friends. And in these past several months, I’ve realized how many people in this town care about me, value my company, want to be close to me. Rather than processing my grief and stress in solitude—through writing—I processed through conversation, physical contact, real human exchange—a new experience for me, at thirty-eight, revealing my sadness to others and finding I don’t need to carry it alone.
I’m happier now than I have been in a long time. I feel more like myself than I have in years.
What does it mean to be productive? For me, productivity has always been linked to creative expression—words on a page, paint on a canvas, food on the table. But I understand, now, that productivity is more than that.
A meal with friends, a long drive in the sun trading memories, hours spent relishing in the pleasure of another’s skin, the delicate task of earning the trust of a child—these things are all just as productive (maybe more) than a finished story.
So, no, I haven’t been writing, but, yes, I’ve been busy.
I wasn’t going to write anything for this issue, but after that day flyering, I decided I should. It’s short, and maybe it’s not any good, but, goddamn, it felt good to put words on the page. I felt ready. More than.
It’s time to get back at it. I won a grant a couple of months ago to help start a zine fest in Charlottesville—to foster further the human connection of the zine community. Want to help? Hit me up. Got an idea? Let’s talk. Friends, let’s be real friends. This world is too solitary. We need each other. I know I need you. Do you think you need me? I’m here.
This issue is a fucking 15-pound bowling ball, and I hope it knocks down all your pins. I couldn’t be more grateful for the beauty and truth collected here.
Please accept all my love and gratitude. We’re starting again. Every time. Right now. This minute. Let’s fucking go.
All my love,