Dear Reader, Leo Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
We have a resistance to change, whether it’s beneficial or not – we are programmed to resist change. People fear the un- known and would rather stick to the status quo, even if it’s harmful. The suffering may provide a meaning or purpose for one’s life.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “ Those who cannot change their minds can not change anything.” Staying the same is a comfortable choice, even when change is necessary. As a result, we become comfortable in our misery. Many have attributed the cur- rent political shift to the right and the embrace in many countries of nationalism as a resistance to globalization and the changes that come with it. Rather than lowering borders and embracing the changes required, the western world is currently shifting back to the dark old days of fear and nationalism. What with Brexit, the rise of Trump and the alt-right (where “alt” is code for neo and “right” for Nazi), etc., it doesn’t look a whole lot like things will be changing for the better any time soon. We all too often fear change which – along with nationalism, sheer racism, whatever – driving a lot of anti-immigration feeling.
Perhaps change for the better will come once we accept these changes, process them. en as a society we will be better focused on fighting it?
This month’s collection of stories is not explicitly political – though there is a distant glimpse of the States’ current presidential plight in Taylor García’s “Wheel of Fortune”. Change is what fiction – usually, traditionally – deals in: personal, psychological change – a fictional character is meant to come out of the other end of a story slightly different from what he or she was at the start, through some modest epiphany or moment of truth, some kind of emotional arc. Change is also tied to time – you can’t really have one without the other – and the biggest change, of course, coming to each of us far sooner than we’d like – final, total, the end of our personal time – is death. We could easily have made this an issue themed entirely on Death. Kathy Stevens’s “Olives” deals with loss, and Nancy Ludmerer’s “A Bohemian Memoir” offers a unique perspective on the changes that time can bring. Both time and death figure in Eden Summerlee’s strange sort of science fiction fable, “ootd” – set in the distant but may- be not-distant-enough-for-comfort future, when everything’s changed, while still reflecting our own changeable reality.
We close the issue with a photo story from Thailand-based photographer Dax Ward whose images capture beauty where only ugliness remains.
Our team player this month is Elina Nikkinen!
Every- thing that is will change, and the changed will change further. Hence, one must neither get at- attached to joy, because that will pass away; nor get depressed with sorrow, because that too will pass away. Nothing is really permanent in this world. – Buddha.