Spring Issue 2022

Editor's Letter

By Delainey Bowers

A prophetic, yet no less sensational, headline from a 1914 copy of The Madisonian, a newspaper based in Richmond, Kentucky, reads,

Zoe Anderson Norris was born in Harrodsburg during the latter-half of the 19th century. By the early 1900s, she had established herself as one of New York’s literary elite, taking on the roles of journalist, novelist, and essayist for a number of culturally-recognizable publications. She also founded the Ragged Edge Klub, a social organization chock full of artists and rabble rousers who met weekly to weigh in on the state of the world and to eat copious amounts of spaghetti. Those are my kinds of people.

In the final issue of her bimonthly magazine, East Side, Norris details a vision in which her deceased mother visited her bedside as she slept. Norris writes,

“‘Am I next?’ I asked her, and she said, ‘Yes.’ I screamed, and she put up her small hand and said, ‘Shhh! Shhh!’ My screams awakened me.” Shortly after the magazine was published and mailed to subscribers, Norris died of heart failure at a meeting of the Ragged Edge.

I can’t help but be reminded of another Bluegrass-based clairvoyant, Edgar Cayce. Born and raised in Hopkinsville, Cayce was only a child when he claimed to have witnessed the ghostly visage of his long-gone grandfather. Another story purports that Cayce, whose academic performance was less than ideal, was able to glean information from his school books simply by laying his head atop the stacks. As he got older, Cayce’s soothsayer sentiments grew stronger as he was well-known for entering into a deep trance-like state, receiving messages and remedies from a higher power, and passing them along to eager observers. His propensity towards sundry alternative healing modalities — color healing, dental therapy, aromatherapy, and magnetism — helped to lay the foundation for the classic tenets of the New Age movement, which would come to fruition several decades later. Hopkinsville has more than goblins, you know.

By our Western standards, we continue to think of time as linear, a triptych of past, present, and future. Perhaps not surprisingly, the articles featured in our latest issue fit comfortably within such a structure. With help from the Smithsonian, Susanna Pyatt’s piece examines how Marion County’s past religious institutions, economic industries, and connections to the landscape have shaped, and continue to shape, the smaller communities within the region. Natosha Via’s photo essay features a Oaxacan baker who infuses traditional recipes with contemporary flair. And Sarah Schmitt’s dive into death doulaship begins to explore how we can help prepare and comfort those who are faced with life beyond the pale.

But perhaps we can allow ourselves to leave behind the belief that time is linear, if only for a moment. What if, instead, we imagined our existence as a flat circle or layered neatly like a flaky phyllo dough? That which hasn’t happened already has. What if we fall down a rabbit hole where space bends and flexes, tangles and unfurls. What if it catches us by surprise and tosses us back into the void? What if it is both known and unknown, static and dynamic (you know where this is headed, don’t you?) … just like folklore.

So with our crystal balls, palmistry charts, tarot decks, scrying stones, and throwing bones, let’s attune our extrasensory perceptions to “high frequency” and ride the space-time continuum until the summer issue.

Far out,
Delainey Bowers, Editor in Chief