By the time you read this, the election will have been over for almost a month. I have no concept, sitting here on November 19th, of what that might feel like. I still don’t really have the words I need to write this editorial, but here I am anyway. Because that’s what I need to do right now. I need to be here, feeling whatever I’m feeling, right alongside you.
And I’m feeling a lot of things.
Fear. Sadness. Shock. Anger. Disappointment. All of those and more, sometimes simultaneously and all of them cycling from day to day, moment to moment.
I finally sat down and pulled my thoughts together, even if they’re not so very cohesive. The narrative thread never presented itself, but I feel like that’s reflective of where we are right now, when so much feels vertiginous.
So, here are a few things I have been thinking about.
I finally sat down to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time a few days ago. I think something told me to save it until i really needed it. Growing up on the East Coast of the U.S., my family took me to all the Revolutionary War stuff. New Jersey has a bunch of historical sites on its own, plus we went to Boston a couple times, down to Colonial Williamsburg a lot, etc. That whole period of our history means a lot to me on a core level and I’m reconnecting with all that now. It’s pretty powerful.
Part of the reason I’m so drawn to that period now is that I can look back on those people who founded this country and use them as touchstones. Not just wondering what they would have thought of the state of politics, but who we have become as a people. Lest we forget, the founding fathers were a bunch of radicals. They pushed buttons. They were obnoxious and disliked. They were a bunch of immigrants changing the very shape of the world so that people could live free lives.
They stayed and they fought.
One question I’ve been asking myself over the last week or so is where does that leave Luna Station Quarterly? Where do we go from here? I don’t know what 2017 and beyond will look like for the world, but for LSQ there are a couple of things I do know.
First, we’re not going anywhere. Stories are more important now than ever. They provide comfort, hope, and perspective, as well as the necessary escapism (which has never been an ugly word to me) needed to keep our batteries charged. Top to bottom, our staff is passionate about keeping that mission moving forward.
Secondly, LSQ has always been about inclusivity. In the past, this has been mostly focused on women as a marginalized group, but that’s changing for us. While our mission remains focused on women, what it means to be a woman (or more accurately, “not a man”) is open to a lot more interpretation than it was even just a few years ago.
Racially and ethnically, we want to see more diverse voices in our pages as well. While I do not feel we have failed in this area, it’s something I know we can do better on. I hope you all will help us get there.
I am listening.
A lot of us are searching for where to put our energy now. Do we protest, do we apply diplomacy across the aisle, do we batten down the hatches and hide? I cannot tell any of you what is best for you, what you need to do.
For myself? I have a job to do. First and foremost, I am a caretaker. I will make sure everyone is drinking enough water, that everyone has eaten, that everyone gets some rest. LSQ is part of that job. In sending stories out into the world, we’re providing a respite and a refuge.
Our stories give us strength.
When I look at LSQ I feel a sense of pride for what we are and who we represent. The world has changed and will continue changing, but we have not come this far to let everything we have fought for go so easily.
It will be hard, yes. There may be backsliding before we move forward again, and we have no way of knowing right now how far we’ll go. But we have each other. We are not alone. The internet has connected us all and given us undeniable proof that no matter who you are or what you are feeling, you are not alone.
And so we gather around tables and feed each other and talk and cry together. We plan and organize and make a safe spaces for those who need to feel safe. We keep making art and telling stories because right now, the world needs more art and more stories.
There is hope in stories.
Those are my thoughts for you. I’ll see you in the next issue. Until then, stay safe.