I chose the theme Gossamer to end the year out of both selfish necessity and a form of collective healing; or rather, a means in which I can attempt to extract some good out of the horror that this year has been.
2017 began with much pain, as I am sure it did for many of us; it's hard to talk about what life was like for me a year ago, especially because so much has changed since then. Mentally, I was at some of my worst, and the year saw me hit some of my highest highs (graduating from university, self-publishing my first chapbook, being accepted to present a paper at my first-ever film conference), and my lowest, most agonizing low. Who knew this year would bring so much sorrow? Who knew this year would, despite the grief that surrounds us, still bloom with soft, renewed hope?
I don't believe much in resolutions, but I believe in renewal; in light, summer, the resilience of flowers half-buried in snow yet still curling open in shocks of colour. I believe in the potential of others, the good in small acts of kindness, smiles that crinkle the skin around your eyes, and laughter so full you forget to put your hands to your mouth to contain it.
I believe in gossamer, all delicate and soft and strong as spider-silk; of nostalgia for brighter days, and the capacity to work towards recreating it for tomorrow. I believe in healing the self and others, of holding tight even when your hands start slipping, and believing in the Sun even when the night crawls on and on.
Because the Sun will always come back, and even if she doesn't, the Moon shines just as well.
This issue is small, but filled to the brim with softly bright and necessary work; soothing away the pain of this year and reminding us that yesterday was good, but tomorrow will be better.
After all, it's still to be written.
KANIKA LAWTON is a writer, poet, and editor from Vancouver, British Columbia. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia, where she served as an editor with the UBC Undergraduate Film Student Association. A Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold and Silver Key recipient, 2018 Porkbelly Press Micro Chapbook Series finalist, and 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, Kanika's work has appeared in The Rising Phoenix Review, Rambutan Literary, Ricepaper Magazine, Bombus Press, PUBLIC POOL, and The Ellis Review, among others. She is the author of two self-published chapbooks, SANTO CALIFORNIA (2017) and Every Song We Could Never Listen To (2017), and the poetry collection Wildfire Heart (The Poetry Annals, 2018). Kanika can be found on Twitter @honeyveined, her website kanikalawton.weebly.com, and searching for solace in tide pools along the West Coast.