Letter from the Editors

Dear Reader,

Here at Cordella, we’ve been thinking a lot about mental health, especially as it relates to creativity, spirituality, identity, our relationship to the earth, and our own life narratives. This issue’s theme, Re/Cast, was born out of feeling the effects of stigma that surrounds mental illness and imagining ways to help others and ourselves redefine and reclaim the stories of our lives.

So, what does Re/Cast mean to us?

In this issue, we’re joining our artists, writers, healers, and musicians in recasting narratives. As we encourage others to pursue their journeys and think about the stories they want to tell, we’re committed to finding what suits our own lives and what sustains us individually and as a magazine. Along with the women and non-binary creators featured here, we’re casting off ideas that don’t serve us, casting spells on the patriarchy, casting light on the ever-present stigma and clouds of mental illness, and casting off inauthentic selves. You can think of this issue as a cast that holds space for something while it heals, or a material being cast and sculpted again and again. We’re casting off people who try to impose their limitations and concepts of who we are and what we should be doing on us—performing a ritual cleansing and making our own ceremonies.

We’re saying goodbye to the roles people automatically put us in when they hear about our struggle with mental illness. We’re casting off the judgment that comes with having illnesses that aren’t easily visible to others, and all the misunderstandings and unsolicited advice that accompany our experiences.

We want to talk about the shadow that mental illness casts on our lives, and the shadows cast by other people’s false expectations, their impatience with our healing, and society’s distorted ideas about weakness and strength. We’re going to take as long as we need to grieve, to heal, to grow, to recover, to tell our stories, and to hear others. This year, we’re defining who we are, what our beliefs are, and what we want to bring to this world instead of being pressured or influenced by outside opinions.

May this issue of Cordella and the luminous work by our thoughtful contributors bring some comfort to those who are suffering from any kind of mental illness, and remind us to treat those around us who are hurting with non-judgmental compassion. May we treat ourselves with the same compassion as we define what we need, what we want to commit ourselves to, and what we want to create this year. I’m so grateful to our fearless Editor-In-Chief, Cate Clother, for putting so much work and heart into Re/Cast’s creation. We offer up thanks and support to the women and non-binary folks who have bravely shared their experiences with us, and wish you, dear reader, all the best in 2019.

with love,

Madeleine Barnes, Poetry Editor

If you or someone you know feels hopeless or like they have no reason to live, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help and support.