These pieces are various and eclectic. They will take you from small towns and backyards buzzing with insects to oceans and expansive swatches of sky. As divergent as they are, we see something in all of them: heart. And what is more enduring, more human, than heart?
Than what is bloody, raw, brave, and constant as our bodies are. These pieces, no matter their form or content, beat in our chests like drums. They swell our ears with blood. Make our arms ache with pulse. That is why we chose them.
To live and exist in a place that doesn’t necessarily connote beauty—to live among the swamps, the alligators, the humidity, the floods—implies tenacity. Why keep living in a place pushes against human life? That resists the soft bodies who attempt embraces? The disembodied organs, the bulls, the slaughtered animals, and the political comments that appear in this issue reflect that sensibility.
Yes, it’s duplicitous. Focusing on organs, or the South, simultaneously reflects and obscures the entire body, the entire nation. By looking at a part, the whole becomes an absent referent.
We live here, and we identify with hearts at our core, because of love. We love the body, the community. We love our nation and our homes, so we allow commentary about them. The beautiful thing about the heart is it’s a tenacious organ. The beautiful thing about the South is it is a tenacious space.
In this issue of Rougarou you will find boarder transcendence in Carl Boon’s “Risk” and in Alaina Symanovich’s “Parallel (Intersecting) Lives,” love in Peter Hogan’s “Airport Security” and in Darrell Cruz’s “Re-,” and the phenomenon of finding self in Sugar le Fae’s “The Tanner’s Wife” and in Tamara Adelman’s “Surf Nomad.” For us, the things that are not worth speaking of are the things that are not worth saving.
And maybe that’s why. We want to say, yes, we are. Yes, we love, Yes, we do.
Gina Warren and Daniel Altenburg