This collection was assembled as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to surge in Idaho, overwhelming hospitals, extending health protocols, and changing the way we teach, learn, and come together as a community. The widespread transmissibility of the delta variant overshadowed any hope that the fall would be a return to normalcy. Quite the opposite, the last several months have continued to be trying, often frustrating, and has continued to challenge our conception of what we even mean by “normal.” Those who answered our call for submissions on themes of “coping,” reflect the nuanced ways in which these strange times have also taught us a thing or two about ourselves, our families, and our communities.
During this submission window, there was also a multi-victim shooting at the Boise mall, an incident large enough to have a deep impact, but small enough to move out of the news cycle very quickly. These submissions reveal the consequences of a culture that normalizes “moving on” in a way that leaves little space for meaningful acknowledgement and grief.
I noticed the correlation between the events of the past and current events and decided to take action by creating a pamphlet that outlined a brief history of Asian hate in America, provided statistics surrounding recent hate crimes against this community, and offered resources for those currently experiencing hate crimes in American due to Covid-19.
I listen because I know I need to. I listen because praying for change hasn’t been enough. But I also listen because I have seen what happens when we don’t.
When we talk about him, she says I have his eyes – the piercing brown ones shaped like soft, rounded almonds underneath lightly colored eyebrows. It’s like I’m staring into a mirror every time I see him in a photograph.
I didn’t know and didn’t have the time to discover who I was or could be outside of being a gymnast. My self-worth could be measured on a 10.0 scale, and I clung desperately to this one thing that I was good at.
the day before tragedy,
we take advantage of normalcy.
my head is in the clouds,
as campus buzzes with life.
Then I was home with most everything canceled due to the COVID pandemic. I used the opportunity to spend more time talking with my family across the country. The connection was helping us all to cope with the isolation.
“Fear is the mind-killer,” a phrase that has been on my mind from Dune, repeats in my head to the rhythm of the brash drums. I will not be afraid when I am in a public place.
I think that coping through creation is only one aspect of being an artist. On the other side, I have found that writing about my experiences helps me further process what happened and where I am now, shaping my art into something powerful.