October’s Apparent Theme … Transformation through Surprise

 

Welcome to October’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Webzine! Thank you so much to everyone who has stayed with this project since our first early clumsy posts in August, and to the new readers discovering our group venture.

October saw fewer submissions, and we put in the time to communicate and connect and conduct interviews with many of our contributors about their unique projects.

For example, Melissa Peabody creates artistic nature documentaries meant to inspire as well as educate people about the impact of returning large wildlife species on our urban ecological landscape. Telling the story of the coyote began for her when she and her family suddenly spotted one in an unlikely place, atop a hill near her home. She then turned that experience into an opportunity to convey the majesty of nature and ways humans can live peacefully amidst other creatures. Paul Gamble’s paintings stem from his fascination with the egg…the biological fact and artistic symbol of huge, complex creatures emerging from much smaller beginnings, only to produce eggs/beginnings of their own. The biological surprise which hatches from an egg, and the transformative experience of growth, fuel his fanciful, surreal paintings. Caryn West describes an artistic transformation of her own as she found herself unexpectedly painting a whole series of children’s portraits, and how a simple project for her son’s room kicked off an entire coffee table book centered on international humanitarian issues affecting children. Faracy Grouse’s free verse poetry reflects both the anguish and uncertainty of lost love, and the hope and determination to heal sparked by something as simple as the rain stopping for a moment, or blinking and looking at the city one more time. Seemingly ordinary surprises become extraordinary when her speaker notices them, and takes the opportunity to decide to move forward and love herself again.

I do believe that sudden surprises, small or large, can spark inner transformation. However, as these contributors show and suggest, there is also the component of preparing and positioning oneself to be receptive to and appreciative of the world’s surprises. Isaac Newton may have thought of gravity after an apple hit his head…but his careful thought and years of attentiveness to the world around him prepared him for that insight. So I would encourage us all to see moments of beauty in the everyday, to read and think and learn as much as we can, to hold out an open mind receptive to the possibilities of wherever life has us at the moment.

Years ago I attended a traditional Celtic Samhain/All Hallows’ Eve celebration, and the ceremony leader described fall as a time of increasing darkness – but also a time when seeds fall from plants and lie buried under ground resting and preparing themselves for a new beginning. He explained that many beginnings can seem dark and uncertain – as can many great, necessary transformative stages in our lives. But that if we could trust in our hopes and dreams through the lengthening nights and cooling weather of fall and winter, and take the rest and reflection we need, then there could be hope in the next season of growth.

In keeping with the theme I selected a few of my own pieces which I felt reflected surprise and/or transformation in some way: a nonfiction research article on people’s experiences with new telecommuting technology, and a short fiction piece on a supposed car accident and a woman’s grieving process.

I would like to encourage dialogue, feedback, and networking through Synchronized Chaos – please take the opportunity to comment on other artists’ work, offer to pass on the word about their projects, ask questions, suggest ideas to them.

Happy Rosh Hashanah to my Jewish readers, happy early Halloween/Samhain to those who celebrate. Please enjoy the luscious harvest feast that is October’s Synchronized Chaos!

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