There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for. —Saul Bellow
After we compiled this issue we couldn’t help but notice an undertone of longing in the pieces we are sharing with you. Directly or indirectly—the people, characters and viewpoints that inhabit these pages are all full of human desire and yearning.
Some long to fit in, to be beautiful, to be found worthy and loved. Some yearn for forgiveness, second chances or even a first chance to be what we know we can be. In all of the stories is a quivering desire to be brave. Brave enough to do the things we know we must do and brave enough to face life even when we fail—especially when we fail.
In this issue are stories that are hot with failure and bravery. A cry. A distant thud. Soft falling rain. Words that burn so hot that in reading them we become the inferno, absorb the heat: our expansive desire and our inevitable death. These stories is our way of extending our charred hand in the cold Winter smoke. We invite you to grab hold and walk with us toward the firelight.
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