The Street Where We Live

waiting-for-the-trainWhen we say Streetlight what do we mean? Anyone who’s thinking of submitting work to this magazine, anyone who’s thinking of looking at what’s inside it, might want to know the answer to that question. It’s one we’ve been tossing back and forth, here on the editorial board, and so I thought I might carry the discussion a little further into public parlay. What do I mean by street light?

To put it another way, what is it I think we think we’re bringing to light here? Obviously – if you take a look at what we’ve already published – not the latest “dirt.” We’re not thinking of street in just that way. But we may be thinking about that other meaning of street, which is address, which is to say, place. As we all come to live a significant part of018 our lives in cyberspace, which is all at the same time, everywhere and no place, I think this idea of real location begins to carry more and more meaning. As we travel these electronic paths, what’s holding us in focus? Where do we physically live?

Human beings have always lived a significant amount of time in their heads, of course. It’s how we happen to have religion, philosophy, poetry, fiction, and all that good stuff. Even our most mechanistic inventions began in somebody’s brain somewhere. And because of that. Even as we planned for the future, or lamented the past, we’ve always looked to keep ourselves connected to that present tense.

a-house-in-hamilton-1Place happens for a magazine in different ways. Depiction is one of them, and I don’t mean just illustration, as in art work. Talking about the world we see, presenting it for others to see. That’s one of the basic meanings of place and I think it’s important for Streetlight. Where do you live? What does it look like? How did it used to be? How hasIMG_0017 copy_edited-1 it changed?

Another thing about place is the emotional attachment to it. How has place made us who we are? Why this place and not that one? What has it given us, what  has it cost? What do we wish were different? Place is a metaphor too. How do you place yourself. What does that mean for you?

The pictures accompanying this musing are all photographs of places I’ve seen. I invite you to see their meaning. I’m also inviting further comment on this topic.

Susan Shafarzek




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