It is with great trepidation that I finally sit down to write my first and last Editor’s Note. It seems an impossible task to address the strangeness of this time, acknowledge the amazing works in this issue of The Mire, and to ask, once again, the question of why we consume and create art in a time where we have trouble telling the days apart.
To guide my response, I looked to Edward Hopper’s famous painting, “Nighthawks.”
During the time of COVID, it feels like the whole world has been transported into a Hopper painting, with its lonely characters inhabiting seemingly abandoned places. Even the characters in the painting seem to be social distancing. Almost eighty years after it was painted, “Nighthawks” seems to take on a darker and more menacing tone. In a time where we are more than ever bound to the present, it is art that transcends these physical and temporal restrictions and sets us free.
In this issue, one finds escape from the real world with an adventure in Julian Manthorne’s “The Woods”, experiences the disillusionment of dreams through Rachael Lin Wheeler’s vibrant poetry, and eventually is brought back to both the luxury and guilt of confinement in Eleanor Lee’s “House”.
I am extremely excited and honored to announce that I’ll be leaving my role of Editor-in-Chief in the very capable hands of Eleanor Lee. Having known Eleanor for two and a half years, I can say with the utmost confidence that she is one of the craziest, kindest, and most hardworking people I have ever met. I’ve sincerely loved my time as Editor-in-Chief, and I’m very grateful for the people who have helped make this issue come to life.
It seems apt to end this note with a quote from Steven Millhauser’s “Phantoms”:
“Phantoms of memory, phantoms of desire. You pass through a world so thick with phantoms that there is barely enough room for anything else.”
And so we trudge through the bog of material objects, the silent, muddy mire, to seek consolation and connection, to feel the phantoms of our past and present, and know that we are not alone.