I see a piece of art as a timestamp. With that in mind, the process of making art could look like working with a pan balance—before and after on either side of the fulcrum. The timestamp is a refined moment, a crisp reflection. And yet, the artist is never at rest, the scales in constant motion. The past, present, and future are in play.
This month’s issue marks the end of what we at Waterwheel Review call Season 1. We chose to publish nine months out of the year to ensure we get a break. Time to rest by a favorite body of water this summer. We also wanted the opportunity to reflect on our latest season and prepare for the upcoming one.
As editors and publishers, we’re finding our own balance: letting go, reassessing, and building; the pandemic adding a blurry lens to the process. It’s apropos that our May authors are doing the same.
The past comes alive in full color, texture, and flavor in Lisa Creech Bledsoe’s “While Looking for Eating Utensils in My Uncle’s Kitchen.” Belongings are memories and a family history that says, “All saved, passed down.” How do we decide what to keep and what to throw away? What if what remains are tools useful only to the craftsman?
Charlotte Friedman’s “Alams for Cleaning Out the Painter’s House” uncovers that oftentimes, it’s the past we want instead: “visit me tonight / I want to taste color / in my dreams.” But, at some point, we must move on.
“Like no one was ever here,” says a voice in Tamara Best’s “Snake Fence,” a piece that honors a story of which the speaker knows nothing, except what was left behind. And that is enough. Something was built. The past reflected onto the present.
May 1, 2021, is a timestamp. Each of our issues is a work of art, but the last issue of our first season provides closure. With each second, Season 1 is further in the past. The pandemic made it difficult for me to revel in the creation of each issue. So, before I move on, I’m going to hold the scales balanced and cherish the moment.