Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of Soundings. This year’s theme is communion, and this issue continues to explore and examine the word and its connotations. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the Soundings team for the spirit and work put into this outstanding issue. For me, it’s an issue of community, gratitude, and looking forward.
I want to thank Scott Nadelson for taking a break from the usual faculty craft essay and sending me back to high school in his story, “Nocturne for Left Hand, 1988” (and I think I was in attendance at this party). Thanks for a lovely conversation and interview with incoming RWW Director, Rick Barot, profiled in this issue. A thanks also to Fleda Brown and Adrian Koesters for sharing the connection between student and mentor in “A Sense of What Matters: A Conversation.” Sidney Brammer does an astounding job reporting from the field from AWP, and Anne McDuffie contemplates future communion at the upcoming RWW reunion held in Silver Falls, Oregon.
It is no secret that RWW is undergoing change. But when I see the accomplishments of our faculty and participants as well as the commitment to all of those participating in the program, I am confident the legacy and spirit of RWW will continue.
We recently experienced a heavy snowfall here on the Oregon coast. It was unusual. I took my dog on a walk along an estuary near Tillamook Bay, a wildlife refuge. As we walked the trail, I was aware that I was the first human there that day. Took note of the footprints of those who came before—a blue heron, a coyote, a raccoon—tracks I would have never seen had there been no snow. But the animals have been there all along. A reminder that we will never be alone.
In honoring our beloved Stan and Judith, and all those who traveled this path before, let’s make tracks. And stop to look at theirs. And welcome new ones. We are all part of the same place, the same community; we share this experience.
So, in the tracks of my mentor, Sid, write on—
Sydney Elliott, Editor