Quiet Desperation and other thoughts…

By some weird process of disambiguation, which I apparently am very keen on, I have managed to turn a dream about dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus Rex) into a mild obsession with a Henry David Thoreau quote—”Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Now mind you, dear reader, I have no idea why this quote, or why this poet, except that perhaps my mind is ferreting out the remnants of a vicious dream with Jurassic Park undertones and uncovered Thoreau hiding in some rarely used quadrant of my brain…mayhaps the same quadrant that houses all my math skills.

But the notion of quiet desperation stayed with me…and better yet, it got me thinking. In a time where we can’t eat tomatoes or apples because of pesticides; spinach, beef or chicken because of E-coli; where being a teenager is more dangerous than ever if you’re gay, or overweight, or different; when public education (in our state anyway) is taking a severe beating and news reports are saying the value of higher education is in the toilet right now—considering the rampant unemployment rates for new grads—it appears that life comes prepackaged with a lot of quiet desperation….a lot of “ordinary” to bog down our moments of “extraordinary” or “exceptional.” How then do we find the right way to express Thoreau’s “song,” how do we seize our moments?

I think I depressed myself with that last one :/

Well, moving past it….The summer has revealed itself to be full of awesome potential. Interviews are being constructed, features are being pondered, events are being planned (mark your calendars for December 10th, 2011), art is being sought, and remarkable individuals have opened themselves up to Women in REDzine; people who have discovered ways to fight past the “ordinary” heaped into their lives. Two of those amazing people, photographer, Colm McCarthy and body artist, Dawn Marie Svanoe, are local Madisonians who truly understand that art needs to be more than just beautiful…it needs to speak, to have presence…to have VOICE and purpose! Their gallery show, “Extinction – a collaboration in photography and paint,” is a two week show of large-scale portraits from the series, at the Common Wealth Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. This was a two year labor of love, inspired by the tribal markings of Brazilian Xingu Indian tribes and brings together a broad cross-section of people: the young, the old, the beautiful, the ordinary, all genders, races, class, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and strips away our differences and unifies us all under one “tribe.” The exhibition runs from Monday, August 8th thru Friday, August 19th, 2011 at the Common Wealth Gallery, 100 South Baldwin St. in Madison, with an opening reception with the artists on Friday, August 12 at 8pm. The event page is here, https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=206435089377025. I encourage you, dear reader, to go to this FREE event and see the work for yourself. If however, you live too far to get there, fear not, our Winter 2011 issue will give you a small sampling of their amazing work…but go if you can, this event will be amazing and print will not do it justice!

In related remarkable individuals news, an interview with Wisconsin writer, Patrick Rothfuss, will also be featured in our upcoming issue. Where he talks about his writing, video games on his radar, and cheese…well this is Wisconsin, what did you expect 🙂 As I looked over the interview I find myself more and more intrigued by this author and his straight-forward approach. He exists in a realm that is attainable and familiar and I found myself nodding as I read his author bio on his webpage…found here, http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/author.asp. His life is full of ordinary, he has a day job, a home, he plays video games and he has moments of indecision…in many ways, he is the “everyman,” but in the midst of his quiet life in Wisconsin, he manages to be an exceptional writer. One whose fans lapse into stunned silence at the mere mention of his possible interest in attending their meager events, one who inspires generations of young writers with passion for the craft. It’s not about being rich and famous, it’s about being real. That is something he has in common with all the people we’ve been lucky/fortunate enough to run into, and work with, he is real. I admire him as a writer and he’s gained a fan for life in me…also I love the t-shirt, so I re-posted the picture from his website 🙂 Having recently spent the past week watching the entire Firefly series I can honestly say that I have some love in my heart for Joss Whedon. I loved, nope, LOVE the series, but, I lost a lot of love after watching the movie, Serenity. Let’s just say that the decision to have my beloved, comic relief, second-favorite character die in the last 20 minutes was NOT COOL!!!!!!!!! Left me crying for almost an hour! I call shenanigans on that move grumble grumble stupid ending grumble grumble.

Oh, in the midst of writing this blog post I discovered that one of our beloved reviewers, Ean Weslynn, was chosen by Lambda Literary Foundation for their ’emerging voices’ boot camp at UCLA in August. Ean is a very talented writer, you can read more about him and donate here, http://lambdaliterary.donorpages.com/EmergingWritersRetreat/eanweslynn/, and I am sure that we will be hearing about his novel, the freshman fifteen in short order. Ean’s writing is refreshing, unpretentious and just a little raw; all the things that make us love new writers and their work. That he stays with Women in REDzine to help us review the myriad of submissions that we get is a testament to his love of writing…and the baking skills of the lovely AEIC. Who at present is torturing her Facebook devotees with talks of her stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce.

And so we come full circle, back to food. That means I’m hungry. So, I’m off to my own quiet life…not so much desperation, but I’ll allow dinner to transcend the ordinary and make it exceptional. I’m thinking a mind-numbingly good steak, which will be seared in bacon dripping in my grill pan; good old sweet corn on the cob; a warm potato salad with shallots, roasted garlic and bacon bits; and buttered baby carrots and green beans 🙂 dear reader, I can feel the hate…cut that out! Go get yourself something to eat and remember to submit to Women in REDzine.

Until next we meet, I remain your intrepid (and fearless) leader,
The Editor-in-Chief, Women in REDzine.

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