Where is the self found? Is it formed by our struggles, shaped by our relationships, or created by our memories?
This year has been a struggle for many of us. We’ve been angry, we’ve been sad, and yet we keep moving. We build ourselves minute by minute, trial by trial, and somehow keep becoming more. It is easy to forget, in the vortex of social networks and news and current events, that we are each learning and growing, that we are being shaped into new and ever-evolving shades of ourselves. The process of becoming is unique to each individual—and as much as us Pacific Northwest residents feel united under our rainy skies and beneath the gaze of our snow-tipped mountains, we are each undergoing metamorphosis. The pieces selected for this issue focus on three resilient beings who push us to consider what the self is, and how it develops through everyday life.
“Plants in a Milk Crate confronts labeling the self as a “Portland transplant.” The narrator describes her experience of purchasing plants to care for while memories of roommate life and finding motivation in the face of the unfortunate and the absurd permeate the experience.
“Love and Flooding in Kings Canyon” climbs through a facade of what it means to be an independent woman in a relationship. The narrator’s internal uncertainties mirror her external challenges, her mind as unforgiving a landscape as the canyon through which she climbs.
Finally, “How to Survive a Pregnancy Loss” portrays emotions familiar and devastating as the protagonist takes us through an exploration of grief: how to comfort yourself and others while in the throes of something unimaginable and yet terribly common.
Each story makes a compelling argument for the origin of the self. As different as the three authors’ approaches are, however, one thing is certain: you are uniquely you. And your story is worth telling.
Delve into these virtual pages and learn something new about yourself—something surprising and beautiful, all at once.
VoiceCatcher Prose Editors