EDITOR'S LETTER: November/December 2017

October 27, 2017



Oh, won’t you stay

We’ll put on the day

And we’ll talk in present tenses – Joni Mitchell


I’ve been reading recently about Joni Mitchell; so of course, I’ve been listening to her quite a bit in fleeting moments of contemplation. And because of a new documentary, there have been several articles about another constant woman of our lives, Jane Goodall. The threads of their work and lives on ours, direct and ineffable, have enwrapped us all and could fill up far more words and pages that I have here…


Theirs are lives of genius and commitment, observation and understanding, connection and solitary pursuit. Aloof and engaged, they are women of dichotomous lives. They have changed us and our world. They have defined our changes in miniscule phrase and explained our presence in greater context. Their lives simply and gently place us here, in our world. Joni gave words to our moments and Jane gave path to our humanity. Listen to them now:  they are women of gift and guidance.


The world around us gives far more than it takes. What is left behind after loss, before change, during every day of life is the very thing of life. Opportunity never disappears; it surrounds us. It is our means of moving forward, always present, there to recognize and reach and clasp:  we dream of something up ahead; we build tomorrow’s house from yesterday’s vision; we find comfort today in a mutable recipe of previous days. We create our present with understanding and hope. Everything new both reflectively teaches and immediately leads us on.


When the meadow grass is turning brown

Summertime is falling down and winter

Is closing in.


This is my favorite time of year. Even as the days shorten and night lingers, life abounds.

The months ahead remind us to give thanks to those who selflessly fought for us and to those who daringly led us here; the cycle of nature provides its most dramatic proof of change; and we are renewed by days of faith and promise.


We are all connected, from all sides, in ever conjoining and intersecting circles, touching and shaping. Here at PORTICO, as we in hope grow forward, we in sadness move forward, one less. Our longtime assistant editor, Mallory Bailey, is moving along. We wish her well, and thank her for every smile, every idea and every ounce of youth and energy she gave us; we were a better place, her with us, and we move forward inspired by her presence.


So let’s look in wonder and thanks at the days ahead, remembering the words of Joni and the calling of Jane and the spirit of Mallory and everyone else who has crisscrossed through us, and embrace this life, intricate and plaintive and soaring.



There’ll be new dreams, maybe better

dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year

is through.   


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