Firstly, thank you for all the well-wishes, support, and shares over this past year. I’m still astounded that we are publishing an anniversary issue. Our team loves this work, and we are so honored to see talented writers and artists interested in this magazine. It is more than we dreamed would happen, and I cannot thank you all enough for everything.
Our anniversary issue is much like the first, with many pieces responding to the virus that continues to spread through our world. Some are about pets who had fallen ill, and in caring for them, people realized what kinds of healing they needed to move forward in life. We saw the raw fear and risk of loss in these pieces, but amid real fear, there is true honesty. These pieces broke and mended us, and we were drawn to examine ourselves and face the fears we harbor.
Our natural inclination as creators is to preserve our loved ones in our chosen art form, but where is the line between sharing the memories of someone we miss and preserving the legacy they’ve ingrained in us? These pieces answer that question. They are fierce reflections on the relationships that made the speakers into their better selves. We saw people and animals fight for each other, change for each other, and seek to improve themselves for each other. These speakers are unapologetic, humble, and strong. In the end, they all find the healing they seek by unabashedly believing the best is yet to come.
Between the accounts of sickness and loss, there are pieces that challenged us to shake off old perceptions of how animals interact with and change us. They take on unexpected roles in both their nature and relationships with people. Wild animals form strong connections with humans, creatures that exist in imagination and dreams affect the living, and animals demand justice for the ways humans have failed them. We were convicted and humbled by these pieces. Who are we to say what animals can and cannot be when we are still learning how to listen to them?
We are grateful to these artists, writers, and poets for the work and reflection they’ve done to better understand the living beings who share this world with us. These people have provided a glimpse into what we can do as humans to better care for and honor animals.
Amanda Marrero and the Honeyguide Team