When the wheel of the year rolls over to autumn and the holiday season draws near, chilly weather and indoor activities can cause many people to become more introspective about the age old mysteries of love and loss. Being heavily affected by temperature changes, this is certainly true for me. I find myself drinking copious amounts of hot cocoa and chai and taking more breaks from work to snuggle up with heart-rending poetry or a good tale as I prepare for Halloween and Samhain.
As we plunge deep into the time of year when the major crops (here in the U.S.) are giving up their final fruits and home gardens are being prepared to be bedded down for the winter, I remind myself that though the vegetation is losing its vitality to strong winds and nippy atmosphere, everything will be reborn again in the spring– strong, vibrant and resilient as always.
In this “Love, Loss and Rebirth” issue of Synchronized Chaos we present to you accounts of the erosion of love and confidence in both society and in oneself. These timely pieces drive at the heart of the matter in excruciating detail, yet we must remember there is hope in this life. In telling these stories our minds are opened to different ways of thinking, drawing forth renewed compassion for others, the knowledge that we are not alone in our suffering, and the realization that the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” may not be as far off as we may have thought.
This issue’s contributors bring us a prism’s spectrum of musings into the human spirit, like John Grochalski’s thoughtful lament on the deficit of civility between strangers in today’s world and Michael Paul Hogan’s short sea-side tale hinging on unrequited admiration.
From Nina Berggren comes a staggering exploration of alienation of the self in the midst of a society that views disability and poverty with scorn, while poetry from Neil Ellman examines losing oneself to the relentless march of time while struggling to love what is left. Ellman reveals how love can transform a person from the ordinary to the saintly. Both Mahbub and Sheikha A. bring us haunting, endearing poems of beauty, joy, possession, and ethereal deprivation. Michael Robinson shows us optimism and renewal conveyed with well-placed, elegant phrasing.
The struggles of youth against a world that wishes to annihilate them and respect for the wisdom of elderhood are central elements of the poems by PW Covington, making these works particularly poignant at a time in U.S. history where we’re struggling to keep the American Experiment afloat.
Synchronized Chaos’ own Cristina Deptula reminds us of the importance of allowing oneself time to center and rejuvenate– especially after fighting the good fight aiding those who have lost much in life, and Patrick Ward offers up an uncanny bouquet of dark poetry regarding ghostly miasma left after a tragic death, the heart-wrenching pain of being unloved… and the frightening duplicity of clowns.
And finally, Joan Beebe brings us deliciously descriptive poems welcoming the onset of fall, and a short inspirational essay about turning personal devastation into hope.
On a lighter note we have a poetic and oddly hilarious tale of fatal hubris from Christopher Bernard, Michael Marrotti’s humorous short essay displaying a great way to rattle minds at open mics, and a satirical piece from Donal Mahoney whose protagonist readers will find unsettlingly familiar.
Jaylan Salah interviews engineer turned stuntman Brady Romberg about the history and trials of the industry, and Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope column announces the release of Kathrine LaFleur’s sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel Moonlight Hunting, book two of the Cardonian Chronicles.
This issue’s autumnal cornucopia is overflowing with thought-provoking literary treats, so grab a hot drink, a warm blanket (and maybe a little Halloween candy!) and settle in for a bittersweet hayride of thrilling and insightful reads.
V. Fairuz is a multidisciplinary artist, copy editor, and writer. She is also a fan of the Oxford comma because clarity is key. Her online writing and editing landing pad can be found at her blog The Dog-Eared Dragon.