December’s issue: The Introspective Journey

 

First of all, thanks to our readers and contributors for continuing to follow and support Synchronized Chaos magazine through the end of this year. We appreciate the variety of projects we’ve been able to help develop and publicize, and the many fascinating, unique, hardworking artists, authors, and readers we have met so far along the way, and look forward to more in 2009!

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a very happy New Year full of infinite potential for creative possibilities, for finding beauty and fascination along life’s winding roads.

December’s submissions seemed highly disparate at first glance – yet after awhile I pulled out a common thread of discovery through introspection. Using careful thought and consideration to determine the true nature of people, objects, places, or ideas.

David Cicerone probes the near-physical memory of a sudden coming-of-age moment, a glimpse of one’s own tiny harmonica against the sounds of the universe in his highly atmospheric short story. What is it that brings us up to epiphanies and back down to earth, and how do we find motivation to continue our efforts afterwards in the calmer, wiser times?

Sara Waugh combines scientific concepts of biological growth and change with feminine imagery abstracted from modern, sexualized images of naked or nearly naked women. She brings her cultural anthropology and ecology background to explore why we find certain aspects of nature appealing or intriguing, and celebrates female bodies by re-integrating them into the context of natural cycles, transformation, history and cultural archetypes rather than viewing them as isolated objects of pleasure or even momentary beauty. Her work invites introspection into how and why we look at art, and blurs the lines between archetypes and realities, memory/imagination and physicality, the natural world and human society.

Sodalis’ philosophical essay on the differences between art and craft is another attempt at exploring the nature of art and beauty. Why do some works remain with us, touch us throughout centuries, become classics or masterworks? In this second offering from our San Francisco-based citizen-of-the-world blogger and writer, we take a look at some potential defining characteristics of art. We hope his essay will invite discussion among the artists and connoisseurs who peruse Synchronized Chaos.

Kate Evans’ For the May Queen’s title comes from Stairway to Heaven’s lyrics – a backdrop for another kind of coming-of-age story, where Norma Jean becomes exposed to various ideas and ways of life during her freshman year at Sacramento State. As her world expands she learns to reconcile and choose among different hopes and dreams, and eventually embrace a certain level of fluidity and complexity in her life. As with Walter Whitman, she can ‘contain multitudes’ and cry at beautiful weddings and hope for true love while simultaneously adventuring around the world as a travel writer and wishing there were more solo female travel memoirs. And she can stay friends with a surprising variety of people while allowing them space to change and discover their own personalities.

Evans shows Norma most developing her own personality during the times when she steps back from her social world and considers who she is, who she would most like to become. It is her encounters with other people and ideas inside and outside of class which give her something to consider during those times, though – introspection is a powerful, necessary capacity but not enough alone to create a mature personality. One must also engage with the real world to formulate and test one’s ideas.

Perhaps the winter months have inspired contributors to curl up inside with a warm cup of tea and embark upon personal journeys. We invite everyone to question and reflect and enjoy the freshly fallen snowdrifts with us, and to comment to thank and engage with our writers and artists.

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