Welcome to the Spring 2018 issue of Barely South Review. The theme of this issue is mind over body. Often when we see these words together, we think about exercise and fitness; however, in this issue, we invite you to consider these words in terms of accepting one’s internal self and outside appearance. An issue that many of us have is that we are not satisfied with how we look. Some of us like to play games with ourselves to avoid confronting the reality surrounding our outward appearances. The game begins by shutting or diverting your eyes while you stand next to your bedroom mirror. You keep your head titled back, telling yourself not to look down, as you put on your clothing or tie your shoes. You stifle your breathing, and pray that no one will say anything about you.
You do your best to avoid contact, even take the long routes or walk around in circles. You are advised by your loved ones to stop this behavior, consider talking to counselors. But you don’t listen. You fear the sounds that may come out of the counselors’ mouths, dread hearing the words: Find a way to face yourself. You ask yourself how can you face the scars, or the fat, or the lines, or the wrinkles? How does one act and navigate through life so that their body is able to hold up, untouched, free of abuse?
There are no easy answers to these questions. We at Barely South Review do not pretend that there are any solutions, but in this issue we do offer hope, hope to all individuals that there is a way to overcome limitations and pasts, hope that there is a way out of the dark and a path to the light that holds endless possibilities and the future. We know this may sound silly, far-fetched, even Disney-like, but we hope that this issue’s featured artists move you, the readers, to loving yourselves more.
In addition, we would like to dedicate this issue to our very own Janet Peery, a friend, teacher, and leader to us all. We thank her for all her hard work and service this past year, and we wish her nothing but success in the years to come.
Now take a seat somewhere and get set for the pages ahead. You’re in for a ride that has more twists and turns than any past issue. Be thrilled, moved, and left in awe by the words of Jane Craven, Kindra McDonald, Claire Rubin, Vivian Wagner, Kathy Adams, Lana Spendl, Kathryn Bockino, Soren Palmer, Teague, Bohlen, Michael Sadoff, David Yee, Christopher Lowe, Jill McCabe Johnson, Kelsey Englert, Eric Shoemaker, Mary Evans, Mandy Shunnarah, Melanie McCabe, and be wowed by returning artist Nicholas Sutherland and newcomer Nigel Ford.
Thanks for all your years of love, support, and job security!