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Confluence Journal – 2019 Call for Submissions: Initiated into What? | From Here, Where?

In collaboration with the Land {Culture} Climate project, Confluence journal announces the 2019 Call for Submissions on the theme: Initiated into What? | From Here, Where?

For five years now YPW has been in the midst of the beautiful and often intense work of our mission to help regenerate healthy passages into mature adulthood for today’s youth. Of a great many things to come from that mission, one seems more certain than nearly any other; the understanding that we attempt it on an ever-changing world, and we too, are ever-changing in relationship with it. As we ride the waves of this perpetual-motion, it seems crucial to consistently consider what motivates us towards that regeneration, to invite inquiry into who the ‘we’ is, that seeks to support that regeneration? To ask who is it that we’re supporting? And what is it that’s being regenerated, preserved, dismantled, remade, upheld? In asking those questions, a paring down of passageways seems like a good place to start, to journey into the substance of the underlying needs they address.

Two of the most natural inclinations in all of human experience are curiosity and a desire to belong. We are hard-wired to want to know the world through our senses, to process it through value judgments, and then by will and through choice, to act. We yearn to know what we’re capable of. And so we set out to accomplish works, dreams, visions…missions.  And then, either we do them or not. But how we understand our successes, failures, opportunities, even the doing, is through other. It’s through the feedback we get from outside ourselves, that we internalize, metabolize, Incorporate. Whether other people, or the more than human world, other acts as a mirror. And each of us, respond to that mirror created by the places and people we find ourselves among in whatever scale or constellation they may appear, with a deeply embodied desire to belong to at least some part of it. For the very same value judgments, we use to process what our senses tell us what reality is are deeply informed by our environment, bioregion, culture, community, as is our access to and breadth of choice, in the ways we can affect and engage at all.

Our communities, for better or worse create the contexts we are initiated into and emerge from, that engender and facilitate our access to choice through ritual, taboo, and cultural norms. Likewise, each community bears human and more than human histories (both peaceful and violent alike), varying balances of power, and specific aims, driven by living, changing desires. We face this world not simply as individuals, but as a part of those communities, of lineages, (even in exile or estrangement). And in the facing, reconciling, and reconnecting to those communities, we become initiated more fully into them.

The word initiation comes from the French initiare “originate, initiate,” from Latin initium “a beginning”. As Confluence looks to 2019, amid the world climate crisis and the American identity crisis, the journal seeks to dive into that idea of beginning, of taking stock. As this call was being finished a global climate strick was underway. Young people are looking at the world they’re in and challenging the context they’ve been given, refusing easy answers or hollow promises. In each moment we are invited to engage our aggregate cultures, those that inform our present and future through either or both of the following questions:

  • Initiated into What? What kind of culture are we building and inviting youth and those yet born to join? What is a village or community in the 21st century to even be able to respond to the changing landscape,

  • From Here, Where? How are you embracing, resisting, adapting, evolving your experienced culture as an individual, as a community to reflect the changes you see are needed in the world?

The deadline to submit will be All Hallow’s Eve, October 31st, 2019. We will value your work for its strength of character and for its contribution to the Issue’s exploration of the theme.  Please view the theme as you wish—creatively or destructively, literally or figuratively—and feel free to wander off wherever it may take you.

You can submit on our website HERE

With gratitude,

Confluence Journal Editorial Team

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