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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 01.29.2020

Small, specific, and visceral memories are most beautiful.

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Photo: Isabel Liang

In high school, I used to do my homework at a table near a window where I could see the sun drop behind the houses down the rest of the block. Sunsets were beautiful, and so, I assumed, were the sunrises that I always slept through.

I remember thinking about this as a teenager, probably halfway through high school, and decided I needed to see more sunrises. This was in late spring, around my birthday, because things were blooming, I think, and the nights were almost warm. I set an alarm, and I distinctly recall hoping I wouldn’t press snooze while half asleep. 

I woke up, alert, half an hour before the familiar beeping was supposed to yank me into consciousness. I stared at the dim blue numbers on my alarm clock as they blinked the minutes away.

Outside, I sat in my fraying gray sweatpants for a while. I looked at a white spider that curled itself around the purple flower of something beautiful that my mother had planted near the door. 

My plan was flawed: I had forgotten about the trees surrounding my home and I had forgotten the houses. An uninterrupted view of the sunrise was an impossibility from this altitude—I was in the shadows of vegetation and buildings I’d known and seen almost daily for over a decade.

In the dawn, things grew less gray. I watched the spider skitter and skip down the petals before slinking into the earth.

Even if I wake up early enough, I wouldn’t be able to see sunrises from my apartment. I’d have to go to the laundry room in the floor above, with its east–facing window. My view would be undisturbed, but there would be no ground to sit on, no flower, no spider.

Maybe soon I’ll squint at the first rays of daylight from the laundry room, and maybe I’ll feel the kind of peace I did watching the white spider climb down the purple flower. I’ll let the dawn accumulate around me, and this time, I’ll see the sun.


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