After the eruption and the introspection, the air begins to clear and we arrive at one last question: where do we go from here?

Just as the Chinquapin tree can only grow after a fire has brought the terrain to its knees, a community has a rare chance to be reborn in the wake of a major crisis. There will be a call to make peace with the ashes, question our practices, and rise once again in new and exciting ways. 

When we started this mini series we wanted it to tell a story, one that our community would follow along with and resonate with as they experience similar emotions throughout the course of this pandemic. Readers would have the opportunity to resonate with the despair of Descent and reflect on their own introspection with Suspension. We hoped that the third issue would be timed perfectly to illuminate a small light at the end of the tunnel. However, as this year has gone on it has continuously shown us that life does not stick to a plan. 

As we have plunged further into the pandemic and are in the midst of the largest outcry against systemic racism and institutionalized violence in decades, what was once a linear path is now an ever-shifting mix of falling and reflecting. Our first two issues align and resonate most strongly with the grief, fear, and confusion so many have been experiencing, but we also recognize that dwelling on pain will not be helpful in the long term if there is no attempt at growth. 

At a time when many are questioning the systematic patterns in society and their own behavior that have perpetuated white supremacy, we offer a warm hug and an outstretched hand inviting us to look toward the future. This third installment, Onward, is a ray of light and a breath of fresh air that we hope will transport you, if only for a moment, to a place of peace. Though the virus still holds an iron grip on this country and the fight for justice cannot cease, there must also be room for pockets of light and love to bring us through to the other side. 

We invite you to take a breath, find a comforting place, log off of twitter and allow this collection of works created with love bring you the fuel to keep moving forward and keep fighting for justice for all. The only way out of the dark is the path that we forge together.

No Justice, No Peace
Black Lives Matter

— Sabrina Schmier, Co-Editor in Chief