A Note, by Guest Editor Robert Kostuck

Dear friends,

Part of the lack of empathy for others is the disconnect from nature, including our own human nature. Addressing the human condition—whether secular or spiritual—is an ongoing exploration. In spite of the industrial and technological revolutions, we remain a part of the natural world. That connection is hard-wired in our genes and our consciousness.

One definition of cultivating is “fostering growth.” I chose the theme, “Gardens in the Desert: Cultivating Awareness” because of this disconnect with our inherent selves. We can look to the natural world for the metaphors and analogies that help us navigate our modern life with the possibility of reconnecting with ourselves.

The stories, poems, essays, artwork, and interview in this issue of DoveTales wonderfully address this theme through literal or metaphorical cultivation, chronicles, sideways glances at the passing parade, nostalgia, fables, and abstraction. Writing and art can be vehicles for codifying elusive feelings and emotions. Through writing and art we are able to communicate our observations and our interpretations of our observations to others. By making this effort (for no one forces us to observe ourselves) we also learn more about ourselves and our place in the world’s amazing diverse cultures.

Thank you to all who submitted. We value your work more than you can know. A special thank you goes to Writing For Peace’s President and founder Carmel Mawle. This, the second online issue of DoveTales, exists because of her advice, guidance, and support.

Peace in all things,

Guest Editor

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