EDITOR'S LETTER: January/February 2017

December 30, 2016

Photo by Michael Barrett


People get ready

There's a train a-comin'

Don't need no baggage

You just get on board

All you need is faith

-Curtis Mayfield


We live in uncertain times. As years pass one into the next and we cycle through life, we are always faced with change and its attendant challenge and concern, but today times seem more uncertain, more unknown, more opaque…daunting and discomfiting. There is no question among any of us that a shift awaits…we are in transition from the familiar to the unknown.


Which is exactly why each of us needs to be more certain: about what we believe, who we are and what we expect. We have to find undeniable faith and focus, unwavering commitment and calm, steady resolve and respect. Now, without question, we should always consider and embrace faith and understanding and respect: they are basic bedrocks of a civil people.


In November, we made the decision to publish PORTICO six times a year, to extend the editorial and distribution reach, to expand each issue in ways we could never achieve on a month-after-month deadline. As we reconfigure and move to a deeper version of our original vision, you will see the familiar and discover the new. The place and people that surround us are rich with inspiration and intrigue, and our waters, at once troubled and nurturing, run deep, full and fast. Time will allow us all to explore more.


Last month, due to a simple medical procedure designed to provide certainty, I was plunged into quite the opposite: between a blurred mass seen on a MRI and seven words from an orthopaedic oncologist (the vibrant, clear and compassionate Dr. Jennifer Barr!) I spent six days in total uncertainty about everything, life itself. I don’t recommend such a journey, but if you are looking for belief and focus and order…


I believe we are here to lead positive lives, suffused with faith, however we might define it. I believe we should find the best there is and work to provide it for more. I believe we should leave as much baggage as possible behind on the platform before each journey. I believe our leaders should understand they were elected by the few to serve us all…and we should never tire of making that clear. I believe the universal, big picture is really each individual small picture perfectly realized, in complete awareness that we are each a pixel and shading of something much greater, that we are all here to make the most possible out of our own lives in the context of each other life.


As we usher in, once more, something new and unknown, and the uncertainty, we must find definition, create certainty, seek clarity, and provoke commitment, in everything we do and say, everyone we meet and love, everywhere we go and dream. We must each endeavor to search deeper, appreciate stronger, understand greater, and accept what we find.


It is always a brave new world. It is always a happy new year. It is always a blessed day.


God bless us everyone.



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Jackson, MS 39201


P. O. Box 1183

Jackson, MS 39215

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