Letter from the Editors


"And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home."

-Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky's Red River Gorge

Dear Reader,

I write this on a rainy morning- the first rainy morning of autumn here in my corner of the world. This season has always been my favorite because it's a season of settling in, turning inward, circling back to old rhythms or creating new ones. It might seem odd that our sixth issue, Ramble, is making its way out into the world when the natural mood of the season is leading us home. This issue was intended to launch in the early summer, when our consciousness longs to expand outwards into the world, to grasp new sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences, to learn more about ourselves through the eyes and shoes of others. And yet, I couldn't imagine a more fitting time for this issue's release than now.

As I've reflected on my own ramblings, and listened to the stories of the amazing women featured in this issue, I've come to realize that travel is as much about our relationship with the idea of "home" as it is anything else. Our experience of travel, like the seasons, is circular- we depart, we change, we return, we depart again. We flow through the world like water, giving and taking, blessing and receiving. The songs and prayers we learn along the way must lead us back into ourselves, must sink down into the deeper ground of our spiritual understanding, or we lose the point of the journey. 

We hope that your experience of wandering about through the pages of Ramble, our largest and most diverse issue yet, will be a joyous one. In it you will find gorgeous traditional mountain music, remembered and retold by the voices of two remarkable young women; reflections on water in poetry and prose; paintings and film which tell stories of courageous women, tasked with creating new homes in disparate lands. We share the stories of a young jewelry apprentice in Istanbul, an awakening pilgrimage to a dusty desert chapel, and the experience of Chinese immigrants in the young American west. 

As Cordella continues to grow, I am thankful for each of our contributors, for lending their voices, hands and hearts to this initiative and for trusting us with their work. I am also so thankful for you, dear reader, for your role in co-creating a safe place, a peaceful place, where women from all manner of faiths and cultures can come together to form an intentional community of mutual listening and understanding. 

Cate Clother, Editor-in-Chief