Identity is a difficult concept to grasp. It’s intangible nature forces us to look beyond the surface into murky depths. The reality is, we often aren’t prepared to face what’s within, and it might take a long time before we are ready to confront it again. However, it’s important to note that the journey is worthwhile.
Why, you may ask? My answer is quite simple: if you strip away all of the layers we put on – beneath the clothes, the makeup, the hairstyles, the accessories, the cars, the houses – what is left? Existere Volume 38 Issue 2 grapples with this very dilemma.
And it’s not simply our own identity that we are forced to face. At times, our image of someone else’s identity is distorted with misconceptions or rose-coloured glasses that become more opaque as time passes. Dana Robbins introduces this concept with her poem “The Elk,” when your first love is not as you remember. On other occasions, we must accept that it is time to part ways with others in order to follow our own path, as Andrei discovers in Tristan Marajh’s “Anesu and Andrei.”
As we go through life, we may also need to cope with someone else’s mistaken and/or misshapen view of our own identities. Tye Kraimer’s “Seven Rinses” shows us the evolution of a parent-child relationship strained under such misunderstandings. Sometimes parts of ourselves are shrouded in darkness and require more effort on our part or others to be seen, but therein lies the journey.
Whether you are beginning your journey or getting closer to discovering the mystery, I invite you to join me as we investigate the concept of identity with our authors’, poets’ and artists’ works.
Writers in order of appearance:
Chaitali Bose Bhattacharjee
Artists in order of appearance:
Keith Moul — Portfolio: Logs at Rest
Emmanuel Oguns — Portfolio & Cover Art
Qian Shi — Portfolio & Cover Art
Reviews order of appearance:
Outward and Inward Reflections: A Review of Alyscia Cunningham's I am more than my hair by Lauren Dick
Review of Paul Zits' Exhibit by Natasha Douglas