Letter From the Editor
There’s something unsettling about sleeping in a hotel. Maybe it’s the clicking of the air conditioner, which hums in a rhythm unfamiliar and strange, then conjures you from sleep at 1:30 a.m. Or maybe it’s the car horns and sirens blaring in the distance, raising questions in the minds of those who, with blurry vision and heavy limbs, wish they were already asleep. What’s happening out there? Won’t it calm down? Will it ever?
It seems that in January, we walked into the hotel room and swung open the door with anticipation. Around February, we settled in for the night, and climbed beneath the covers. Then in March, just as we began to drift off to sleep in the swing of it all… the air conditioner buzzed and it never felt quite right again. Who knew, when we walked in and set down our bags, that we would soon feel so lost?
In this September issue of Iris, we’re awake in the middle of the night, counting ceiling tiles and wondering why it all seems so strange. Embracing the midnight hour, Pasha McGuigan glances toward the sky for guidance in “Navigating by the Stars: Letting Co – Star Run My Life for a Week.” In her poem “Blue Jay,” Lulu Jastaniah stands in warrior pose, confident and calm in the face of such lofty questions as, "What will be the great work of my life?" Lexi Toufas toggles to a playlist of sentimental moments in “Top 5 Things That Have Made Me Almost Cry On My Way to Work,” reminding us all to let the good tears roll.
Amid the presidentially-inflamed racism of COVID-19, Chloe Lyda shares the heightened worry she feels for herself and her loved ones in “Fear Amplified: Coping In A Pandemic With My Asian-American Family.” Sadie Randall takes a brutally honest dive into COVID-19’s choppy academic wake in “What Really Goes on Behind the Zoom Screen (for an Introvert),” and is vocal about wishing she didn’t have to be. With a dare to “Square up, then, world,” Addie Gilligian faces the virus head on in “Shambles.” Amid the chaos of it all, Juliana Callen offers us an escape with “Cottagecore: A Welcomed Distraction,” but proves that pastoral landscapes and butterfly-speckled herb gardens may not be so simple after all.
We at Iris hope you find that wave of peace we all seem to be looking for these days. If counting sheep just won’t work, peruse this latest edition to tuck your mind in for the night. Maybe, as the air conditioner seems to hum itself to sleep, you’ll find a lullaby somewhere in our words.