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The past few months have been challenging for me and many of my contributors and readers. Hurricanes, Cancer, Covid-19, and slew of other disasters have made 2021 a year of immense loss and sadness.
Growing up in a deep hollow in the Appalachian mountains, I instinctively associate Fall with darkness and dying as the laws of nature shorten the days and Mother Earth begins to shut down for the Winter. Birds begin to leave and soon some arbitrary human law forces me to change my clock to shorten my days even more. I often wished I could just crawl into bed for the duration of the winter like some animals.
But after living in South Louisiana and Mississippi for over 30 years, I’ve learned to look forward to Fall. The oppressive heat and humidity leave with the hummingbirds passing through on their way to South America, and we even get a little Fall color as the hardwoods try to mimic their northern cousins. Despite two more months of Hurricane Season, I anticipate cool evenings and northern breezes that bring fresh oxygen and beckon me out of my freon-cooled existence.
The powerful image ON THE COVER is from a new piece by Amzie Adams. He painted this by candlelight and on his New Orleans front porch during the aftermath of Hurricane IDA.
Chapter Four of Luna and Danzi almost didn’t happen due to the hurricane.
I compiled a collection of dragonfly images. These Paleozoic-era insects have long been a symbol of rebirth, change and death for thousands of years. Some cultures believe a dragonfly is a transition phase of a loved one who has died.
The Art of Music features two paintings done for Sam Price & the True Believers. Their first album called Dragonfly (cover art by Monica Kelly) fit perfectly with the dragonfly feature. Their latest single Wild Things (feat Marc Paradis) sports a fun painting by Jamie Risbourg.
Jimmy Anselmo’s collection of dumpster photos reminds us that art and beauty are everywhere.
Featurettes include a painting of New Orleans clarinetist Doreen Ketchens by Marco Bell and Monica Spain that they recently sent to Larry Chiri as a gift. Photos from Wayne Smith, Dan Simpson (both talented musicians and photographers) and myself, plus a sprinkling of Autumn-themed poems fill out the rest of the issue. Dan spent a summer 40 years ago on our farm in that deep hollow.
And so the cycle of life continues, death, birth and rebirth, change and new beginnings as we dry ourselves off and take to the air with new wings.
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sneak peeks and
Beth’s next chapters.