March 15, 2015 by The Citron Review
A note from Heather Luby, Managing Editor
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
– Lao Tau
I have been putting off writing this little good-bye post for weeks. I knew it was coming and yet, I pushed the thought of writing and formulating the right words far, far away. After all, there have been books to read, classes to teach, words to write, people to love and sunshine (finally!) for my white, Midwestern skin to enjoy.
But, here I am, just days away from the next issue and the windows are open and the birds are chirping and my coffee is cold and the words must come even if I’m not ready for them.
I love this quote by Lao Tzu because changing directions is something I am trying to embrace right now. I’ve changed directions many times in my life. I’ve moved nearly two hands worth of fingers. I’ve gone from newspaper reporter, to licensed stock broker, to stay-at-home mom and since 2010 I’ve been straddling the line that many writers know too well. Teaching, editing, writing, throwing everything at the wall sort of literary life hoping something sticks. I have loved it. I have learned so much. I am a better person, better writer, better editor, better literary citizen now than I could have ever been if I had jumped in to a different pool years ago after graduating my MFA program.
But I’ve been swimming in that pool for a while now (I promise I won’t string this metaphor out much longer) and I’ve gone from what felt like swimming beautiful laps to something that feels closer to treading water. Treading water is for the boisterous older ladies in the YMCA swim aerobics class. I’ll be there someday I’m sure, but I’m not ready yet to pull on that flowered one piece swimsuit just yet.
The Citron Review has been a constant source of love, headache, energy, frustration, happiness and inspiration in my life. Like most things we truly love, it contains multitudes. This publication has grown and stretched and my heart has grown and stretched right along with it – with the writers we have published – and the wonderful editors I have had the marvelous luck of working with every month.
But it is time to leave, isn’t that what I have been trying to say? I’ve been making promises to myself for months now about what I want to write, what I want those words to accomplish and those promises mean making changes. Making sacrifices. I’m going to tough love myself. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t get out of this pool (sorry, last time!) then surely I’ll drown in my best intentions.
I’m leaving things in capable and loving hands. I’m not sure I have ever met another group of writers so dedicated to championing the work of others. If you all only knew (okay, I’ll tell you) these editors send so many personal notes to submitters. They read EVERYTHING that comes in, not just the ones with flashy cover letters or impressive bios. They labor over pieces, they work one on one with so many writers; they love what they do and they do it all for free. I may be leaving, but I don’t worry even for a second that this publication will do anything but flourish in my absence.
I’m so thankful to Aaron Gansky for pulling me in this big family years ago. I’m thankful for each of the editors that I brought on board who believed in this publication and trusted me enough to join our ranks. I’m thankful for Antonia for always being the kindest, most encouraging communicator with an uncanny sense of when I needed a little note to pick me up. I can’t wait to see what big, beautiful things TCR will do next.
My New Year’s resolution was to embrace the advice that Dear Sugar gave Elissa Bassist in her infamous column #48. I’ve written the words humility and surrender on my own little chalk board in my office. I’m ready for those things to plant deep seeds in my life. I’m ready for new work to burst forth from those seeds. (See, I told you I would drop the swimming metaphor). I’m ready to change directions and discover where I’m heading next. This time I’m going to let the words lead me…