With print deadlines, I’m generally filling this space two weeks before an issue hits the stands. I find myself writing these words about a week after the insurrection at our nation’s Capitol. That’s the nature of a monthly magazine. We’re always writing into the future, so that what is new to you today in this issue is old to us as we forge ahead towards the next deadline. I’m already thinking about March, wondering if we’ll have an early spring, if people I love will be vaccinated soon, if our elected leaders will right wrongs and heal some of the nation’s wounds.
It’s a good time, too, to reflect on how art in all its forms captures our moments, analyzes and explains them, and—when we’re ready—helps us as individuals, as cities, as states, as a nation, to examine, understand, heal and step forward once again with hope.
Our Cover Artist is Meryl Lefkovich who, through these often disheartening days, is allowing herself time to create with “less pressure and more freedom,” words we might all find helpful in coping with facets of our own lives as we wait for things to get better.
With numbers haunting our lives of all those who have been lost and are still being lost every day to the virus, writer Karen Governo Ingraham visits Marshall’s wind phone, a concept that eases the letting-go process for those who are grieving loved ones. Also in the realm of healing, artist Elise Okrend shares the story behind the book, Messages to the Heart: Reflections of Beauty and Truth. In fact, this issue is filled with love, hope and a little perfume of spring here in the midst of winter. Read about Asheville Gallery of Art’s Bloom, N.C. Arboretum’s Love Birds month and the love story of poet Carl Sandburg and his wife.
Nature comforts as well. It’s not too soon to be thinking about hikes to area waterfalls and planning those farms and gardens.
We hope you find ways to continue to share the love with our thriving arts communities throughout WNC. Art, music, literature, dance and drama are among our best sources of hope. Keep in touch!
Gina Malone can be reached at Gina@TheLaurelofAsheville.com