Letter from the Editor
Another year, another issue! I started this magazine intending to do two per year. Now, festooned with a multitude of hats, I am grateful for the time to do one. Such is life, which evolves as it grows—we all know that. But what about death? My culture of origin, Anglo-America, isn’t so good at addressing that side of the equation. And here we are, still gobbling resources and burning fossil fuel like there is no tomorrow. Like there is no end to our empire. Like there is no death.
But, deep down, we all know that isn’t true. The blazing certainties of summer inevitably give way to the dusky meditations of fall. Contemplating death, whether of our bodies, our eco-system, or our culture requires humility. It requires time for reflection. It requires courage.
The old traditions of Europe hold that the veil between the living and dead is thinner on October 31st, a belief that has devolved into Halloween, where children dress up and demand candy, and adults dress up and get drunk. In Mexico, my adopted culture, the rituals honoring death remain a bit more intact. Many people celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, by holding parades and festivals, going to visit their ancestors in cemeteries, and creating shrines where they offer bread, skull candies, and flowers. Katrinas, such as those on the cover of this issue, provide blunt and fearless reminders of what lies beneath the temporary skin of our human existence.
I am pleased that Issue 4 of See the Elephant features more international stories than ever before, from a diverse group of authors. As is our custom, the stories run the gamut from serious to whimsical, literary to fantastic.
Here in the Western Hemisphere of North America, ’tis the season to curl up by a fire with a good read, contemplate the change of seasons—and the delicious possibilities presented by death, the ultimate change. Join us, if you dare.
See the Elephant, Issue 4, Beyond Death will be available for purchase later this month … stay tuned for a sneak peek story here on the website!
To request a review copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.