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VIIIi2 – Letter From The Editors

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Dear Reader,

As 2017 comes to a close, the theme of “Liminal Spaces & Altered States” feels more relevant than ever. This has been a year fraught with perpetual upheaval; it has often felt like gravity itself was reversing; like the fundamental laws of the universe were not quite as fundamental as we had assumed them to be.

This is why liminality is such a vital and powerful experience. It’s a captivating notion—the in-between: a seam joining the safety of the known and the risk of the unknown—and one that is ubiquitous across cultures. Perhaps that ubiquity grows out of a human nostalgia for the time of our enwombed development, when nothing divided us from the [m]other who gave, in unity, of her interior space—of her very life.  Or perhaps it tracks even further back, before “I” knew any separation from “god” or the divine.  In any case, we’ve all crossed the symbolic and sacred thresholds separating us from [m]other and creator, and without a doubt, we seek those spaces, those brief eternities, those pauses in the beat where presence is made manifest. We feel their pull always.

The 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal described his own yearning thus: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” In the heart of the liminal, that “something incredible” never feels more impossible or farther away. And yet, from within the tumult, we find a way to open, to invite hope or vision. That moment of rupture, of opening, is the very goal of our work: to forge a crucible for our grief and rage so it (and we) might transmute. The hallmark of that transmutation is trust—something that happens in the absence of control. We must, in some fundamental way, become unmoored in order to be open to something larger than ourselves.

The liminal is a space where new reality can be born. It’s a space where we can finally let go of a way of being, a paradigm, a role, or an identity we once clung to, so that something new can be created. In this limbo, this space of altered perception, we discover our gifts—those things that are uniquely ours to do—and we learn how to fully embody that which we love within that which we do.

At its heart, Confluence has been about this space of possibility that exists betwixt and between boundaries, within unconventional dialogues and unsure bets. Each issue of the previous volume was built on our shared belief in seeking, in heeding a call to explore the borderlands of culture and identity while remaining unflinchingly open, no matter what we found, and often because of what we faced.

So we invite you, in these last days of 2017, to meet a new and merry band of travelers; those who have come to this circle to lay bare their discoveries old and new, and to strike their own balance of here and there, in the hopes of extending a warm and vigorous welcome to a dialogue held in perpetuity.

More than any previous issue, this one is grown in the fertile soil of its theme; nearly every piece has embarked from the first stone laid in the Call. In the work to follow, you will see our theme take many forms—a moment, a choice, a place, a space, an opening, a mouth, a wing, a portico, a precipice, a border, a beginning. Venture into the interior; step out into the expanse. Confluence invites you into an issue that opens a transitional geography of middles spaces, of states foreign yet familiar.

Sincerely and with heartfelt gratitude,



Confluence Journal Editorial Team

December 2017

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