FROM THE EDITORS

 

From the Editors 37.3

ROBERT K. LIU and CAROLYN L. E. BENESH


Dear Ornament Reader,

 

From the time we were very young, the summer season was a time to go places and to do things. Our routines were suspended and there was excitement over the light cooling breezes and warm sunkissed days ahead, long and languorous indeed. We could exhaust ourselves merely thinking of what we might anticipate doing and the choices we could make. Decades later those now nostalgic feelings are lingering memories, but, in homage to our youth and attraction for the restorative, we still allow ourselves more breathing room, more experimental opportunities than at other periods of the year, stretching ourselves out of our normative comfort zones.

We all know the sudden urge to just take off and do something, injecting a bit of serendipity into our daily habits. The urge for discovery, inspiration and finding fulfillment is deep within ourselves, as are the connections we make as we traverse life. This can be accomplished by traveling around the world, revisiting loved countries or experiencing the novel in a first time encounter. It can also be spent in the quiet, lovely repose of a backyard garden, leafing through and reading novels and biographies, whatever there is to be had in print, for the unexpected is to be found there too. (And in one of our cases an obsessive devotion to cookbooks and the quest for the best recipe still to be uncovered.) The books and magazines can quickly stack up on the outdoor version of the bedside night stand with many left unfinished but satisfying an important need for the restless human spirit. The possibilities are also deliciously infinite even within a narrow physical circumference. This too is a limitless geographic environment just as are actual far flung journeys to Shanghai and the Adriatic Coast.

Many of you have Ornament on your backyard night stand or coffee table near your living room couch and soon will be diving into this current issue or revisiting our growing archive of back issues. Ours is a kind of GPS navigating system, leading you to surprising perceptions, a road map moving you around the world today, with the additional flexibility of taking you back in time, or indicating what the future might behold. Ornament was created in part so that it would stimulate additional vigor, contemplation and innovation for what this world can produce with its acts of labor and intelligence. Our mission from the beginning has been to celebrate and honor the transformative visions that emanate from the creative life and it is at the center of this publication. Artists are our true explorers and they circumnavigate the vast heart of what it means to be human. Their journeys are our journeys; we would not be whole without the other.

It is now our fortieth year of publishing—beginning in 1974—and we thank you for being a member of our community of fellow explorers in art and craft, and for helping us to enjoy the seasons of our lives in this most astonishing of landscapes.





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