Letter from the Editors

                                                                                          photograph by Richard Conley 

                                                                                          photograph by Richard Conley 

Dear Reader,

Speak, raise your voice, teach, converse, sing, testify, tell a story, tell the truth!

The phrase "speak your truth" has become a loaded cliché, heavy with hints of vanity and pop spirituality. But here is something that we have learned about creative work: when the creator is most personal, most bare and honest about her own life and experience, that is when her work will ring clear and true and resonate powerfully with others. 

Those are the hardest works to make, of course: Who will relate to these particular details? If I reveal my unvarnished self, who will look at this work with empathy instead of judgement? It is an act of courage to birth that kind of truth out into the world, but the labor is not in vain. The resultant work is a gift for all the readers and viewers and listeners who will say, "I have felt this way, I have experienced this, I was afraid I was the only one. I needed to hear this." When you speak with your wild, unusual, imperfect voice, you give others permission to do the same, and fill the woods with song. 

We think you will find beautiful encouragement in that task as you peruse this issue of Cordella. Herbalist Sophia Rose shares the story of a journey and her unabashed delight in wild plants and wild women. Educator Giovanni Cozzi talks about crafting a career as unique as herself. Two poets consider their families, longings, things said and unsaid, and artist Jenny Hawkinson finds a way to blend her voice with the vibrant cacophony of her adopted neighborhood. In a series of portraits, printmaker Elizabeth Dallas celebrates creative women doing their thing. The woven sculptures of outsider artist Judith Scott communicate the hidden inner-life of a woman without a voice. The songs of musician Kyshona Armstrong are soulful, unique, lavish gifts to the world. 

In many of these works, as in Christian Totty's image on this page, we are reminded to speak not only the truth about our own story, but also about what we witness around us. When we speak we participate as members of a community. We are so grateful that each of these women took the leap of faith, and put in the hard work, to share their voices with the world. 

With this fourth issue, we wrap up one year of Cordella Magazine in its current form. We are working on some changes, and exactly what form it will take in the coming year is still unfolding. As it takes shape, we look forward to continuing the conversation with this community, and working with more of you amazing women! We encourage you to connect with us on Instagram to stay up to date, and check back here soon. 

Thank you for speaking, and for listening.

Sarah R. Squire, Essay Editor

Cate Clother, Editor-in-Chief




Christian Totty

With all my heart, I know that people hold within them the deepest truths of healing. From traditional medicines and artistic productions, to social activism and responsible entrepreneurship, our collective memories and manifestations are the key to transforming the world. I am a Black Indian, Ohio born artist and activist with a passion for botanicals, travel, holistic health, and liberation. Currently, I reside in Austin, TX where I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. I write a lifestyle blog where I share my journey as a graduate student, and beyond: www.christiantotty.wordpress.com.