Welcome to Issue 8.2

Carol Es, "Unexpected"

A Note from the Editor:

I often find myself getting overwhelmed by the sheer scale of all the life happening around me. Each person I pass on the street, all the people I see on TV, all the clerks at my favorite store, all of these people have entire libraries’ worth of lived experiences stashed in their heads. Some of these realities are completely and totally alien to my own. This is a thought that, for better or worse, has always consumed me. I’ve tried to explain my obsession with this idea to others. It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t take the scope of our reality for granted, and I often have found my interest in scale dismissed as over-sentimental when discussing it with others. In the Rappahannock Review, however, it’s on full display. This journal is a wide-ranging collection of perspectives, some fictional, some actual, but all perspectives nonetheless, all representative glimpses into the humanity of each person we meet.

My editors and I have carefully collected a wide range of experiences, stories and ideas, all laid out for our readers. In issue 8.2 of the Rappahannock Review, some of the pieces, such as Gina Lee’s “On the Line with My Therapist” and Mariana Graciano’s “The Domestic Side of Imperialism” center on the perspectives of women of color surviving in a patriarchal and racist society, while other pieces, such as Sarah Swinford’s “Landflucht” and D.A. Hosek’s “Saint Anthony in West Hollywood” focus on people passing through some of the most transformative moments of their lives. One piece of particular note to me is Kevin Grauke’s “The Faces of Boys and Dogs,” a work in which the central character, a young boy, undergoes an essential and inescapable change of perspective, one that haunts him throughout the rest of his life. Grauke builds to this reveal in a swift yet cautious way, the individual elements all coming together like a puzzle to reveal an unsettling truth. When the boy’s grandmother reveals her perspective, his understanding of both the world and himself is forever altered.

In a grander, metaphorical sense, I believe that all of the pieces enclosed within this edition of the Rappahannock Review are capable of causing that same magical alteration in our worlds. Although other works might not reveal as disturbing a truth as the grandmother does in “The Faces of Boys and Dogs,” they do, in some way, all contain elements of a unique worldview, one that’s capable of changing our worldviews as well. Even if the weight of all the world’s perspectives is big, scary and overwhelming to you, as it is for me, there are ways to bridge the gaps in our experiences. When we pick up a literary journal and read through its pages, we’re doing a lot more than just reading. We’re finding ways to bridge the gaps of our own experiences and diving into the stories of others.

Gus Grohmann, Editor in Chief