Existere Volume 37 Issue 1

Growing up has always been hard work, but our 37.1 Fall/Winter 2017/2018 edition perfectly documents life’s strenuous journey. Though we may have had different upbringings, we have all faced adversity and milestones. Whether it was overcoming personal, academic, professional or social hurdles, life has seen us through them all. In this issue, our authors and artists have collectively crafted a journey through life. Together, we face life's trials and tribulations and, together, we come out stronger.

There comes a point in life when we have to realize that our parents are not invincible. That is not to say that they are bad people, just that they are human. Humans make mistakes. Humans make bad decisions. Michelle Boone’s “The Mathematician” invites us to watch as her protagonist deals with this very realization, as well as the hardships that accompany it.

Life's next hurdle came when we realized that we are not the centre of the universe and that other people have had different upbringings, faced different challenges and experienced different teachings. S. Lowell Soderman’s “Playing the Race Card” brings to light and discusses many controversial and provocative topics and viewpoints. To name a few, Soderman discusses Joseph Boyden and Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American heritage, society’s negative perception and treatment of Native Americans, as well as the manipulation of an individual’s ethnicity to suit their own desires. Though this might be offensive to some readers, keep in mind that awareness, a key elment to growing and learning as an individual—the theme running throughout this edition, involves learning from as many perspectives as possible.

Through life's next adventure, we struggle to bear the heavy weight of society's gaze. In Annie Raab’s “The Artist” and Ben Leib’s “Fingerprints,” we are shown the effects of other people’s opinions and narrow-mindedness in two vastly different ways. With Raab’s piece, we are shown the internal struggle and aftermath of inner turmoil, whereas with Leib’s piece, we watch a woman choke down her pride and principles to survive in her troubled world.

Sadly, another element in growing up includes suffering through and moving on from a loss. Michael Popp’s “Something Broke on the Way to Enlightenment” takes us through the devastating road of loss and the long trek to recovery. Through various stages, we accompany Popp through his grieving process and cheer him on through his battle for acceptance and inner peace. Through his long road to enlightenment, we grieve and rejoice beside him.

Though this life is not one that all will experience, everyone can relate to the struggles and hurdles that life offers. This edition provides an insight into hardships that you may not have experienced yet or know all too well—either way, we welcome our readers to find solace and wisdom in our contributors’ works, for they carry important life lessons within.

Writers in order of appearance:

Saima Afreen
Jodi Adamson
Michelle Boone
N. Page
Savannah Sidle
S. Lowell Soderman
Justin Carpenter
Annie Raab
Victor Altshul
Ben Leib
M. W. Jaeggle
Sally Zakariya
Michael Popp
David Reuter
Mary Rykov

Artists in order of appearance:

Carol Wellart — Portfolio & Cover Art
Jim Zola — Portfolio
David Sapp — Portfolio: Folate Light


Lauren Dick

Reviews in order of appearance:

Review of Ilse Weber’s Dancing on a Powder Keg by Je-an Cedric Cruz
Review of Peter Unwin’s Searching for Petronius Totem by Madelaine Pries
Review of Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ladewell’s L.M Montgombery and War by Lauren Dick

In Conversation with Andrea McKenzie by Lauren Dick

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