Letter from the Editor
Art by Kirsten Hemrich
I have a tendency to think of change as something that happens to us rather than something we enact. And maybe that’s why I don’t like change—in fact, I fear it. For someone who grasps onto control with every last fiber of her anxiety-addled brain, the idea of embracing and, even worse, causing transformation does not come easily.
The fact is, we all carry the capacity to fit change into our identity. New beginnings, new journeys, new transitions—they’re all inherently a part of what we conceptualize to be life. Each season comes, a predictable turn of unpredictable nature, and yet what we commonly call a year subsumes that change under one block of sameness. In a similar way, we can change and still be the same person on the outside, or we manipulate our outside appearance and remain unaltered internally.
Just as often, the world moves and shifts, and we are left to find a way to adapt. In this rather haphazard and incalculable world, change becomes the only thing we can count on, the arena in which we (in a somewhat antithetical fashion) find our sense of autonomy and free will.
At Iris, we are far from immune to the inevitability of lifelong evolution. Caroline Bohra takes us on a journey inside the many facets of her beloved grandmother, gifting us a digital memory box from which we can learn enduring lessons of a life lived to its richest potential. Lexi Toufas narrates a time when she worked to fit a new aspect of identity into a rubric of family and fatherhood she thought she knew, but needed revision upon realization that dads indeed can, and do, cry. Finally, Cady Rombach extends an invitation for a trip to Ireland in a van named Vito, tracing out a stellar example on how to react to a twist that is beyond one’s control, and making a strong case for the power of a catchy tune.
Spring is sweetly coming. I can feel the sadness leave my body with the prolonged sunsets, as they promise the arrival of daylight savings time and carry a warm breeze in the air. The things we know to be true and the things of spring we expect will be here before we know it, yet this season may feel different than even the one of last year. One thing that is so special about Iris is that each cycle, we have a beautiful opportunity to make our own change and inch our vision a little further—and I am so grateful to be a part of it.