“If you want to go quickly go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”
“A bundle cannot be fastened with one hand.”
These are two African proverbs that come to mind when I think of our theme for the first online issue of DoveTales: An International Journal of the Arts. Our theme, “One World, One People,” came to mind as I thought of where we are today in the world of multiple conflicts, threat of war, violence, conflicting messages from world leaders on what peace is or keeping the peace is, and a complete lack of unity on how to take care of the less fortunate of our one world. There is a new, quiet war against immigrants and migrants around the world and a new rise in anti-immigrant sentiment around the world, the apparent inability of world leaders to fight for peace, and the lack of agreement by the world body of leaders on the effects of growing catastrophic climatic changes. What was once a world united in protecting us from war and disaster no longer is, and from Europe to Africa, from the Americas to the ends of the earth, there is an unsettling fear that we have forgotten how to protect the world as a people and as a world body.
This edition of DoveTales is a call on all of us writers and readers to remember that we are indeed one people. No matter our skin color or our geographic locations, we are “one world, one people.” DoveTales: An International Journal of the Arts has always been about the beautiful, sometimes sad or scarred, stories from around the world—about writing for peace, and speaking peace even in the midst of world disunity or calamity. No matter what political leaders say or do, this new online edition, as with past print editions, is a reminder that we are one world and one people, and we must never forget that.
John Donne’s Meditation XVII, that powerful 1623 poem, captures this vision embedded in our theme as much as the African proverbs above do. Here in this fourth stanza of one of the most popular pieces of this great author, Donne admonishes us:
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.”
Yes, we indeed are “One World, One People,” even when it doesn’t seem that way. One nations’ or continents’ destruction is destruction for the rest of us. As Donne said in so many words in Meditation XVII so long ago, we are affected by one another in every way.
This theme is most fitting for the first online issue of DoveTales: An International Journal of the Arts because now our contributors and readers around the world can have access to the journal they love so much without the limitation that a print edition forces on us—whether they have a small phone, an iPad, a tablet, or a computer. Many of our readers around the world did not have access to the print editions of the past, a problem now solved in the decision to bring this great journal to the world.
As the African proverb says, “If you want to go quickly go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,” DoveTales: An International Online Journal of the Arts, is going far, and as we of “One World, One People,” move forward into the future, we must “go together.” I also believe that if we go together, we will go quickly since we will pull one another up higher as we go far into the future. And again, as another African proverb says, “A bundle cannot be fastened with one hand,” we intend to continue this new vision of reaching our worldwide audiences and contributors wherever they are. Together we will fasten the “bundles” that are scattered in our world, whether they are children forced to migrate with parents from whom they will be separated in their new free world, or whether they are immigrants or migrants being attacked in Europe, parts of Africa, in America or even in Asia, whether our bundles include writing about the changing climate conditions that have become catastrophically disastrous for our one world people, or whether those bundles limit women in the world—through rape and the abuse of children and women—we are going “far” and going “together” as “one world, one people.”
If “a bundle cannot be fastened with one hand,” we know that a bundle also cannot be loosened with one hand, and if no woman/man is an island entire in herself/himself, then together we will tie the bundles with all our hands, or loosen all the bundles that hinder our one world. We will go far beyond our own expectations first, whether we write about the things that plague our world or the things that unite us.
We are excited about this beautiful first online edition with an array of amazing and diverse poems, fiction and nonfiction pieces, photography, and art by contributors from around the world. This issue is the Contest edition that includes works by the Young Writers Contest winners from around the globe, many who are writing in English as a second language. Congratulations to our winning authors and to all of our contributors. Also, in this issue are the first set of poems from the small West African country of Liberia, with young writers between the ages of 18 and 21, all publishing their first poems ever. DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts has since 2013, drawn together writers from across the globe, whose vision is to forge peace through the pen, and this edition is no different. Some of our contributors include the finest writers in the US and around the world, and to them we are grateful.
Thanks to all of you, our audiences around the world, contributors, editors, fellow advisers, and our Managing Editor, Carmel Mawle, who has tirelessly and patiently put up with me. Finally, as our leaders struggle to find peace in the midst of turmoil and chaos, may we write peace into the minds not only of our youth, but to all of the world. As One World, One People, let us dig deep into ourselves for what makes us one. Let’s stand together as the bundle that is fastened one to another since none of us is an island. And tied together, we can “go far.” Celebrate with us this first online edition and celebrate one another as one world, one people.
Patricia Jabbeh Wesley
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