As we release this fifth issue of Pensive, we reflect on all that has brought us to this point. A few short weeks after we first gathered to create this journal in January 2020, we found ourselves scattered across the country, navigating a global pandemic and an uncertain future. Over the past two and a half years, our creative community has sought to respond to COVID- heightened economic inequities, racial reckonings, global warfare, the climate crisis, and political polarization in the US and abroad. A diverse yet united Pensive community has emerged, even as external forces conspired to divide people across barriers of religion, race, class, gender, sexuality, politics, and national origin. As artists, readers, and editors, we have come together to uplift underrepresented voices, embrace both commonalities and differences, and foster a safe space for continued growth through the healing and liberative power of the arts. For all this – and for your part in this ongoing adventure- we are profoundly grateful.
At the outset we had hoped that Pensive would represent the good faith interests of communities of faith, conscience, and creative expression across the planet. With each issue, we have further defined how we might best exemplify and embrace the core values of Pensive: spiritual imagination, solidarity, community, compassion, justice, peace, and sustainability. Even in the design of each issue, we sought to reflect these values. For example, we are working to build a more inclusive community through accessible design and reflection on representation. We also strive to inspire meaningful conversation and interaction by creating a dialogue within the collection of works. If you read each piece in succession, and absorb each individual work of art, you will undoubtedly detect a serendipitous “call and response” or “point and counterpoint” as the works echo and engage each other. The whole is truly a chorus of voices, rather than a series of solos.
Our cover art poses the question, “Where is Our Hope?” In the artistic offerings in the pages that follow, we trust you too will find wellsprings of hope rising in the voices of healing and resistance; the power of memory, family, and roots; the peace that abides in nature and faith; and the courage of writers and artists to cross boundaries and make beautiful art in troubled times. Most of all, we as editors find hope in you, dear readers, and your care for your own communities – and for one other.
– The Pensive Editorial Board