When we are young we are told that we can do or be anything, and we believe in that possibility because the people we love believe it too. As we get older it can be easy to accept that the only things we know how to do and be are the things we’ve been taught or told we were good at. It can be difficult to remember the strength we acquire from our experiences and the perspective we gain from our failures and our successes. We are too easily defined by what others believe we are and at times lose sight of our ability to stray from the familiar and color outside the lines.

Ann Patchett wrote that, “It makes you wonder. All the brilliant things we might have done with our lives if only we suspected we knew how.” The voices in this issue know the weight of their own humor, fear, and clarity of what they can be. What they know about themselves is true not because they are fearless, but because they are not seeking validation.

These stories have reminded Hannah and I how important it is to return to a place where our identity is not bound by the singularity of what we’ve always done, but by everything we may accomplish when we give ourselves permission to try. They have given voice to the power that comes with acknowledging our strength. They are not blind. They understand the importance and impact of their voices. We hope these pieces will remind you that our talents are always starting to emerge. We hope they remind you that each day we are all just beginning.

With warmth,

Hannah Newman & Jesse Ewing-Frable
Sweet Tree Review 


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