letter from the editor
To the readers of honey & lime:
At the time I am writing this letter, much of Australia is on fire. Much of my social media feeds are filled with pictures of this hellfire, pleas for donations and awareness, videos of koalas clinging to burning branches, crying for help. For many, climate change is not necessarily an immediate problem. It is a small twinge of worry or despair, looming too far overhead. For many others, the problem is very real, and it is on their doorsteps.
Truthfully, I feel helpless about the state of the planet. I care deeply about my environment, nature, and the wildlife that is steadily dwindling. I try to limit my consumption of meat and animal products, try to use plastic straws as little as possible. I read news of the Great Barrier Reef dying right before our eyes, of polar bears eating their own young to survive, and I grieve. But I am also painfully aware of how little effect my actions are causing. Much of the damage to our environment is being caused by a handful of corporations, whose greed will never be overshadowed by caring for the wellbeing of the world. My helplessness grows. I try hard not to imagine too far into the future. At this point it feels inevitable, and I try to push away the worry and hold onto the parts of the world that bring me joy, the ones that are still here, for the moment at least.
In this issue, over 40 contributors vocalize the fear and sadness many of us feel. Milly Webster’s visual poetry tells us, “The days are sad… The world is too much.” Katie Palmer’s essay explicitly speaks of the acute anxiety that comes with learning about climate change, the difficulty of writing about a subject that clearly spells out our doom. K.J. Herb’s gorgeous series of photographs depicts Mother Earth suffocating on our plastic waste, while Taylor Meehan’s poem promises that the Earth will cleanse herself of our fumes, regardless of whether we survive or not. And in her story, “Nor Any Drop to Drink,” Catherine Ogston paints a picture of a world we want so badly not to come true: one where water and resources are scarce and society becomes “dog-eat-dog.”
The title of this issue was inspired by a sentiment expressed in Katie Simpson’s “everywhere remembers” and Michael Colbert’s “Garden Variety, or I Read Books On Plants.” Katie says, “where do you go / to pretend, to forget? / everywhere is remembering.” Michael writes about his houseplant, “Will she grow two legs? And when she does, where does she go?” This is a frightening, eye-opening idea: when inevitable disaster hits, where are we supposed to go? We have but one planet, and an escape route to another solar system is far into the future, likely to be accessed only by the very wealthy.
Our contributors bravely joined together to speak out about climate change as a real, immediate problem. They point out the little cracks in our facade of a perfect society: the trash that clutters our oceans, the smog we breathe in our cities, the disasters that take place half a world away, just far enough that we can go on pretending. More importantly, our contributors implore and challenge us to do something about it.
The future of our planet is terrifying to think about. I do not yet know what our lives will look like twenty years into the future, especially for those who are already disenfranchised today: what resources we may have to give up, what creatures may one day go extinct. But as I put together this issue, the beautiful and evocative work of our contributors reminded me of something important. Perhaps the actions of one person may be ineffective on a global scale, but if all of us join our efforts together, and continue to act, speak up, and demand change, then maybe it will be enough to make a difference. This is all I can hope for.
Thank you, dear readers, from the bottom of my heart for continuing to read our issues and support us.
honey & lime literary magazine