Saturday, April 30
It is 7:30 pm on a day that - in my part of the world
- feels more like winter than spring. This is surely my fourteenth attempt
at writing this, having spent much of today waiting for some small sign
from the photographer who has graciously provided this month's cover photo,
along with many other photos and countless words of encouragement for this
Just a little signal... Some sort of word that she is
all right. Because in Jill's part of the world, there were tornadoes last
week. There was a level of devastation that I can only imagine, and even
then, only through the footage I've seen on television.
And now it is the evening of the last day in April.
It's just hours before Lily's first issue in three and a half years will
be released. I've spent the day thinking of Lily's first four years, and
- yes - thinking of Jill's contributions to that, as well as the contributions
of so many others.
I've been remembering why I started Lily back in 2003.
How, after the loss of two loved ones in a short period of time, I felt
like I had lost even myself somewhere. And I came to believe that through
the words and images of others, I could find me again. That by holding out
this light, by saying to everyone I came in contact with look, read,
I could also see for myself what was beautiful.
I've been remembering why I stopped publishing Lily
in 2007. How life with its all its economic practicalities beckoned me back
to a full time job and how, at the time, the act of devoting my time to that
and to this seemed so big. How I told myself then that the logical choice
would be to give up what was beautiful for that which is necessary.
Would you believe I tried to convince myself I didn't
miss this? Can you imagine the times I said that Lily's ending was for the
Truth is, of course, that I've missed it terribly. I've
missed all the parts of me that stopped breathing and speaking and singing
the day that Lily stopped taking submissions. Truth is, my heart skips a
little when I see the release of some other publication. I imagine the work
and the love that went into putting that issue together. I know that work,
I've been thinking today about how slow the decision
to bring back Lily was. A little thought that, once dismissed, returned again
the following week. The following day. How I finally said the words aloud:
I'm thinking of starting Lily again... I've been thinking about the encouragement
that followed. And in the light of encouragement, how those thoughts fought
past doubt and insecurities until they became bigger and more glorious things.
Want, then. Hunger and thirst. Amazement.
And, as always: gratitude.
The signal finally came this evening. A few short words
from Jill. All fine...
Jill, I have written this now and with the extraordinary gladness of knowing
that some time, when things settle down a bit where you are, you will read
it. Because, when you wrote to me recently, you expressed how excited you
were to read it; to be inspired by the words. Thank you.
And thanks to all who offered their encouragement, their
hope and their work for Lily's return. Thanks to this month's contributors,
for the wisdom and the beauty of your words and your images. Each one of
you has an amazing talent that I am so honored to have the opportunity to
share with others.
Thanks to Indigo for your enthusiasm and your brilliance.
Your time, effort and ideas. The love and work you bring to this. And your
humor. And your encouragement. Thanks for sharing this with me.
And to those who are reading this: Thank you. I am pleased
to offer this issue and I am looking forward to the issues to come. Scheduled
for June are interviews with Patricia Smith and Parneshia Jones. Submissions
are open and they're coming in. New ideas for this publication are being
formed and considered and it all is happening with sincere happiness and
Sometimes what is beautiful and what is necessary are
the same thing.
Til next time.