My grandmother who lived with us was born in 1902 and had lived though the Irish Civil War. Each week night after supper, whoever was available joined her in the sitting room where we got on our knees to say a rosary. Nana knew her mystery format and she was always aware of what followed through and for me the process became a living event, a trip through the bible and similarly the stories she shared afterwards became part of our family history. She had supported Michael Collins in the civil war so she had the best renditions of tales to convey as she found herself on the losing side. She was a bright woman whose glass was always half-full and from her telling she only ever gained from the friendships made during the time.
The bible and social comment were always interconnected then and the colour and energy that they emanated is still as fresh in my mind today because a good story like a good poem is remembered and rehashed. When new social challenges are explored we might do worse than look to the old tomes to reaffirm our definitions; whether they be a dictionary, thesaurus; bible; book of faery tales or quotes from the classics they can act as a springboard to help us review our context through a spectrum of lenses. Reviewing our present by exploring old boundaries and voices who met similar on the way, and while hearing the explanations of the how and why we get to compare our emotional and physical present day reality.
And if we need to move a personal horizon to explain a moment in time a faery tale might do the job, when we get to read of a kindness enacted or hear a retelling of the tale: of an elf, an ugly sister, a skull and crossbones, a ghost or a changeling as we step outside ourselves to define and describe a feeling and personality. Our contributor's work in this issue mines the soul as it explores those definitions.
The Night Makes Stars
Face to Face with Moses by Stephen Zelnick
Drawing the Line by Oonah V Joslin
Everyone an Orphan by Erik Svehaug
A Giant Step Forward by Harry Stone
The Courtship of Alma by Bill Frank Robinson
Hey, America by Tom Sheehan 6
The Sky by Marie Fitzpatrick
Chornby and Leo the Blind Man by Tom Sheehan
The Faithful Light by Rosa Mulholland
The Night Makes Stars
The earth is round, the grid is flat
The shift between the two
Allows for waves to shrink, expand
To move the dream forward
As the maker planned.