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Monday, November 25, 2013

Dappled Things and Other Things

I don't think I've yet mentioned here that I started work as an assistant editor for Dappled Things in early September. Most of you might know that magazine already. If you don't, check out their website. Oh yeah, and their blog, because, you see, I get to help with that, too!

I get to do lots of stuff for them like sorting submissions, recommending which pieces deserve further consideration, discussing and voting on final acceptance, and then editing the work when it's been accepted and getting in touch with authors about making any necessary changes. I've really enjoyed the work, even on top of my regular job and school and choir, because it makes me think seriously about the kind of writing I like to think about, and it gets me in touch with some really fantastic people. Also, it turns out that two of the guys I knew in college, Chris Petter and David Harman, do work for them as well. As a result, I get to feel very smug about my alma mater; who doesn't love that?!

All the behind-the-scenes work for the magazine is done online, which is how it can be staffed with people from all over the place -- and I'm talking from different countries, not just Montana or Virginia. Another awesome thing about it is that it's a hardcore non-profit, meaning we all do the work because we love it and believe in it; no paychecks involved. Don't get me wrong. I would be ever so happy to get an extra paycheck every once in a while. But, it also makes me happy to do this work, paycheck or no.

Our founder, Bernardo Aparicio Garcia, recently sent out a short fundraising video and asked the staff if we could spread it around (printing and distribution costs add up, you know). He talks about the mission of the magazine, the role of beauty in our culture, and what we can do in the world of art to rededicate modernity to its proper end. So give it a look-see, wander over to the fundraising page, and think about what you might do.

I'll leave you today with some words from Gerard Manley Hopkins, as it is his poem, Pied Beauty, that was the inspiration for the name of this magazine. I've been thinking a lot this last month about the relationship between joy and sorrow, and our attraction to sad things, and why we sometimes experience desolation when reason tells us we should be joyful. Hopefully, that will come out as a full-length blog post before too long. In the meantime:

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
Oh let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

Yours truly hiking near Inversnaid, June 2011

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