Lightning and thunder; pouring rain; screaming wind scraping sharp ice claws across your throat as you try to breathe; blinding sunshine and bursting bulbs; squawking birds and children’s laughter at the sea side. Like the extremes of the seasons, emotion is a powerful thing. When emotion is channelled through words, that power delivers an experience for the reader to share.
Last month, our Rowdy Rhodes lost his very dear friend Robert Gannon. Although Rowdy was expecting the passing of his friend, when it actually happened, he was swept into the vortex of human emotion. This tumult of feelings gave great flow to Rowdy’s pen. Artists of all kinds must have a vent for expression. The current of emotional experience is amped up and must have an outlet.
We, and various other publications, have benefited from Rowdy’s overwhelming need to express himself during this time of grieving. You’ll notice no less than four articles contributed by him to this edition of IN. Since he is a main player on this stage, I thought it appropriate to give him the space to let it all out.
And so, if there is a theme to this edition, it is depth and details. It is about how details are highlighted by engagement and emotion, and how the expression of these details can convey the depth and emotion of their origin to produce a good read.
The sense of things, the feelings, reactions, and emotions that our experience, environments, and relationships evoke for us—these are the raw materials that we as writers fashion into organized, sharable structures with the written word. And let’s not forget that this is the month we celebrate St. Valentine—a custom from Europe during the Middle Ages due to the beginning of the mating season for birds in the middle of the second month of the year (i.e. February 14). And so from Chaucer we have “Parliament of Foules” in which he writes:
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.
In the early 17th century, John Donne wrote:
HAIL Bishop Valentine, whose day this is;
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners;
Thou marriest every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove,
The sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird with the red stomacher;
Thou makest the blackbird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch, or the halcyon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine;
This day, which might enflame thyself, old Valentine.
From “An Epithalamion On The Lady Elizabeth and Count Palantine Being
Married on Saint Valentine’s Day,” Verse I
Since we are birds of a feather, to support you in the translation and expression of your experience into good reads, we present to you—with love—our February edition. Go forth and engage with life. Channel your experiences onto the page. Create good reads!
First published by Inkwell Newswatch (IN)
© Julie Pierce and Julie’s Writing Portfolio, 2005-2011.