There’s a middle ground in our storytelling: a space which follows acknowledgement and precedes meaning. It’s a space for waiting, a space that holds us, sometimes for months, suspended. Suspended and stunned by the incongruity of the world and ourselves. Sometimes, all it lets us do is stare it down like a surprise even if we saw it coming. In certain moments, it keeps us motionless and unable to articulate the significance of the stories we’re trying to tell. How are we so silent in our grieving, in our joy? How are we so silent in the moments that rattle us?
This issue features writers who have found a way to acknowledge the waiting, a way to articulate the hush that follows a memory from childhood into your first waking moment. Rather than disregarding the silence of suspension that characterizes uncertainty, they have made a place for it to exist without resentment. They have not denied their waiting. They’ve given it a home and let us see it. These stories are powerful not in their lacking of uncertainty, but in their ability to embrace the certainty of it.
We understand that these periods of suspension do not always make stories—that words often come on their own terms, without grace or concision. We understand the space between insight and pulling up a chair to your desk is vast and overgrown. We hope that this issue shows you comfort within uncertainty and beauty within suspension—that these words offer you both what they have already found and all they have yet to discover.
With warmth and curiosity,
Hannah Newman & Jesse Ewing-Frable
Sweet Tree Review