Foreword to Volume V

LIFE IS A SERIES of transitions, as we are constantly in a state of flux—flowing from one relationship to another, one emotion to another, like a river running downhill, spilling into the ocean—free. It has been said that the only constant in life is change—and maybe that is true. We hope, we dream, we make plans—and yet they are often crushed in a moment, forever damaged or destroyed—sometimes leaving behind a new direction, sometimes leaving nothing but a void.

In this issue of Spark: A Creative Anthology, we are confronted with cancer and loss, the art of disappearance, heartbreak, entropy, the wanderlust of gypsies, contradiction and chaos, death and decay, fear and anticipation, sacrifice, and the notion that people are the only monsters.

What Brian Lewis has done with this particular anthology, in Volume V just as with past issues, is tap into the universal experiences that we all share—these humanizing moments of sympathy and empathy—while still finding a way to do something unique, to charter unseen waters, to share the secrets that have been hidden for so long. It’s easy to fall into these narratives, to get lost in the lives of others, while burying deep our own moments of pain and suffering—only to have them rise to the surface as these talented authors cull them from our memories, our hauntings, our dark echoes and dried-up tears.

Slow down for a moment and let these stories change you, let them remind you what you are working for, why you continue to scrimp and save, to sacrifice and struggle—remember your dreams, no matter how distant or elusive. We cannot all be astronauts or scientists, we cannot all be heroes or champions or gods. We can only be mortal, human after all, and in that we show both our weaknesses and our strengths.

Richard Thomas
February 25, 2014
Chicago, Illinois, USA

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