Touch: The Journal of Healing




Welcome to the September 2011 issue of Touch: The Journal of Healing.  This issue, more than any other to date, has had a tremendous impact on me personally because while we were accepting submissions and selecting which pieces to publish, my mother was dying.  This made the reading of each poem or prose piece that touched on this subject a difficult one.  Many times I could not finish my first read of the pieces because the emotions they evoked were too raw and too present.  I didn’t have the luxury of time to distance myself from the pieces because I was living in their moments.  Often, I had to walk away.

As the days passed, I would recall a line from a poem, or a phrase that resonated with me during moments while I spent time with my mother.  The overwhelming message of these pieces was that of being present in the moments we share with others, and while this is something that I knew from my clinical nursing practice and shared with the families of patients I have cared for, this message took on special meaning for me personally.  As the days turned into weeks, I found new meaning in many of the submissions and my earlier overwhelming emotional response to many of them was no longer present because a bit of time had passed.  As a result, I was able to review them with an editor’s eye while at the same time recognizing the truth in many of them because of my own experience.

Towards the end of our submission period, I realized that the pieces we were selecting were not unique in this respect.  Each issue of our journal has conveyed the same message of being present in the moment in some way.  In addition, the loss of any one person reaches far beyond blood lines.  It is also felt by friends, neighbors, and colleagues and as such, the definition of family and family lines can become blurred.  This was very evident in the people with whom my mother surrounded herself in her final days, and it is also true for the family of poets and writers who have contributed to this journal.

One of these writers is Larina Warnock, who was our Editor’s Choice for the May 2010 issue.  This past June, Larina and her family lost their son, Zachary, who was the subject of several of the pieces Larina contributed to the journal.  In addition, another significant past contributor became our Editor’s Choice for this issue, and one of the pieces we chose was dedicated to Larina, and was written about Zachary.  Because of this, Daniel and I are dedicating the September 2011 issue to Zachary, a member of Larina's family, from our family of writers.

The image chosen for the cover of this issue depicts two dolphins, one is a little larger and older than the other, most likely a mother and her young.  It reflects the poem dedicated to Larina, about Zachary and dolphins, and we can’t think of a more suitable tribute to his memory.

O.P.W. Fredericks, Editor

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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