NOVEMBER 2016 | ISSUE 011
IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME
8 X NOV16 our personal images for the month.
Words from the Editor
I'm struggling to find the right words this month. When we chose In Search of Lost Time as our theme it seemed innocuous, an abstract literary device, a nod to Marcel Proust's opus that would, hopefully, fuel ideas. Nothing more, nothing less. On a personal level I found myself driving back through decades, on old forgotten roads, to bury my mom. It's hard to find a more graphic marker for loss and our unrelenting march forward. Browsing through this month's stories, it's clear this is a thread we all share. The human condition remains temporary, above all else.
But I can't and won't deny the undertow pulling at us as I write this short editorial. Like most of the world, we were shocked by the results of the US elections and the signal it sends. We can point to disenchantment, economics, globalization...but let's not kid ourselves: the roots lie in selfishness, xenophobia and bigotry. We knew these evils to be eternal, but we had tricked ourselves into believing they could no longer surface. Not at the administrative level. Not in our "enlightened" democracies. In our complacency, we forgot about the violent forces that can shape our lives when we dismiss compassion, love and basic human decency.
Nothing expresses this more eloquently than Bert Stephani's contribution to this issue, Lost Lives. It's easy to rant and bluster about Them, the Refugees, the Suspects; to talk about walls and deportations and closed borders. It's intangible and anonymous, a movie playing in a theatre you get to walk out of at the end. But seeing Bert's portraits of people—kids, families, friends—watching them smile and huddle in spite of the abyss that surrounds them...these are neighbours, not strangers. Mothers and fathers courageously holding their children to their breasts. They could be any single one of us in different circumstances because like it or not, the unthinkable is always a possibility and we are NOT safe. Not from tyranny and not from loss. Understanding this, wholly and completely, is the only truth that will keep us together.
We all long for lost time. But I hope we never, ever feel the hunger for better times.
Patrick La Roque, Canada.