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  • Catriona Keel

Vulnerability and Truth in the Spring Online Edition

In Élan’s 2020 Spring Online Edition, there are many pieces that reveal a vulnerability in these artists’ background and where they come from/what has helped them grow in their lives. Both the art and writing in this edition are so raw and honest. I loved going through the process of looking at both art and writing for this book edition because there is so much personal truth held in each piece that makes the book as a whole truly unique.

A creative non-fiction piece I connected to as soon as I read it is the piece, “Faults in a Guitar Strum” by Mia Parola. This piece focuses on the relationship between a daughter and a father and how the relationship has changed and developed over time. I especially love the descriptions used in this piece moving from memory to memory, because each description shows a new layer that was added to their relationship as time went on and she learned/understood more about her father as she grew older.

I found it so easy to connect with this writing piece because it reminded me of memories with my own father and how we have grown apart and together again. I especially connected with the moment where Parola’s father had to temporarily move for work and she describes staying up with him often in hopes he wouldn’t leave when he came to visit during that period of time. I’ve had similar experiences with my father because he works so often that every moment I do get to spend with him I hold onto really tightly and try to wring it out to last as long as possible.

There is a fear in the idea of “losing” this other person or having them less in your life as you both grow older and have to do separate things. Several other emotions (i.e. happiness, sadness, etc.) are added to the fear created by the experience described in this piece as part of you grows separate from that specific person, even when you remain close. That aspect of the different emotions and development in the relationship is something many people can relate to and can remind them of their own truths. Many people have experienced a situation like this, and like I did, can reflect on their own personal memories while or after reading through Parola's memories and experience.

The honesty shown in “Faults in a Guitar Strum” is shown throughout the rest of our 2020 Spring Online Edition, with each piece telling its own story and truth. Hearing and seeing other people's hearts in their pieces can be so inspiring, especially when you can relate your own memories to each story being told, whether it's in the form of art, fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. I strongly encourage you to read the Spring Online Edition, which can help inspire you to create a telling of your own stories through writing and/or art whether you knew you needed to tell a specific story about yourself or not.

- Catriona Keel, Senior Web Editor


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