Melanie Holland, Bryn Clark, Jesse Stanton, Erin Lynch, Jeff Smith, Meredith Moench, Jeff Smith, Subaas Gurung, Aaron Belz, Bryan Biba, Ben Gibson, Ryn Manby, Zach Labutta, Debbie Knubley, Austyn Bailiff
I am told that the caliber of epiphany produced by great reformer Martin Luther would be hard to replicate. I protest based upon my own lightening storm encounter. In fact, though my mother snorted at me when I told her this, Martin Luther inspired my recklessness.
I had left the house fifteen minutes before the Kent Island tornado warning aired over local television. The brackish Bay surged in high tide, the winds pushing waves up to their two foot peak. I barely noticed the forceful winds at first. Only after I rode miles too far from home did I glare with suspicion at the charcoal clouds, chasing closer to shore. By the time the rains began, I realized I did not have time to retrace my steps back to safety. The air cracked, electrified, and I crouched like a half-bit donut over my knees, feeling the hail bounce off my slick head, certain I was following the proper storm safety rules I was taught. Unfortunately, I wrongly sat squat-hunched over my heels, both feet spread apart, far from the spindly trees that lined the trail, officially the tallest available lightening rod in sight. I swallowed my composure, opened my guppy mouth to scream in masculine tones that surprised my estrogen sensibilities. I addressed Jesus in wolfish howls, overstating curses and Psalms, stealing breaths from the rain.
In hindsight, I like to compare Luther's indignity to mine. Was he distracted from his vow to join Erfurt monastic life by his jiggly knees before the bolt struck the neighboring tree? Was he startled by his insignificance in God's manifest quaking power? Or, was his mind blank and blaring noise like mine?
Through foggy sheets, I eyed a plain Toyota parked against the curb 60 feet from me. Still panicked, I braced my body, wrapped my arms around my chest while pumping my legs, and ran to the anonymous car. I imagine I looked like a zombie with arms that flailed wide open the moment I started my sprint, as if to receive a hundred years worth of monster hugs. Against the antagonistic wind, it took two tries to whip open the backseat door. Plopping down, I made puddles on the stranger's loose-leaf papers covering the backseat, and the first words out of my mouth were apologetic. The woman said sorry, too.
I am sorry, who are you?
Writing is like this. Writing is biking in rising atmospheric tension, thrusting your body forward through a concept, cowering before the storm your words have created, and realizing the loss of orientation that is possible when fleeing from your drenched draft to take a refuge in a stranger's car. Most of all, writing is that naked moment of potentially fatal consequences where you must risk being uncensored to spare your integrity. To write in "uncensored" subtleties means submitting to The Pub with a conscious and confronting commitment to community dialogue, to publish our stormy epiphanies. Please read this spring issue taking care to throw your presumptions about anorexia and Catholicism into the tornado winds, to challenge the poetics of circus theology, and to enter a league of exposed fools like Martin and me.