When I was eight I buried a box of my drawings in my grandparent’s yard. At the time, the exciting part was imagining someone finding it years later and mapping out who I was—a stranger building the frame of my memory and assembling ideas about who I might have been. As I grew up I learned that we are ultimately the ones responsible for revisiting our own time capsules and evaluating the significance of what’s inside. I learned we are the keepers of our own memories and the years which shape them. 

Frida Kahlo once said, “They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” Hannah and I are moved by the authors in this issue and their gift for painting the parts of our memories which, when recalled, remove us from the present moment and force us to acknowledge the surprising vividness of the past. 

We are stunned by these stories and their ability to capture the stillness and vulnerability of a child burying artifacts in the yard—of standing on a street corner with somebody you used to love, of taking the bus with strangers at night, of watching the evening news as your child sleeps beside you. Their stories illustrate certain memories which sometimes fade permanently, and others which speak only when called upon. Our hope is that you will find comfort in their gravity, in their ability to articulate the ambiguity of these experiences with remarkable clarity and warmth. We hope they will make you feel a sense of closeness in the space between experience and reflection. We hope you will find something new in them. 

With warmth, 

Hannah Newman & Jesse Ewing-Frable
Sweet Tree Review 


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