Yesterday was a full moon, the first of 2022.
A dear friend who splits her time between Minnesota and Sweden wrote that Stockholm was empty today. Was it the full moon, she wondered, or was everyone in hiding—not just from the cold, but from the newest COVID-19 surge? On the phone with another friend recently, they dubbed 2022 the “junior year of the pandemic.” This winter, as the wind howls and the temperatures drop, as we check the number of cases in our counties and lay low—or maybe we don’t—it can be easy to forget that there are other meanings for surge.
What about a “powerful rush of an emotion or feeling?” A feeling like Black joy, maybe, that is fought hard for and nurtured in the face of chaos and uncertainty. Maybe that feeling is the love connecting two adult sisters in the review of Mary H. K. Choi's book Yolk. There may not be one word to describe the emotion that rushes through us as we watch a parent learning to write, practicing their alphabets, but Sonam Tsomo Chashutsang's poem “Unfinished” gets us closer. In this newest issue of Bridges there are floods of memory, the longing that characterizes nostalgia, and in Kamakshi Ranjan’s poem the warm buzz that accompanies coming home to our hive.
This issue reminds us of the need to reflect on how we label the world around us. As in Caroline M. Mar's poems, it invites us to consider naming and how the language we use demands definitions to come. "Slip knot," “good mothers,” “yonder,” or “interesting women.” Sometimes, like Kai da Luz, we have to conjure entirely new words (and worlds) because the ones we have just won’t do. At Bridges, we want to remember that reading is intimate because, like good conversation, it requires that we reach out in good faith and in anticipation of insight and connection. What about surge as the electricity of reading something that inspires or challenges? Another name for it could be connectivity, spark.