This edition of the Brushfire was published in fall 2020.

From the Editor’s Note:

“If at any point during this past year, you looked up and were suddenly seized with the surreal and unsettling sensation that the sky overhead might quite literally collapse in on you, one thing is certain—you are not alone.

In times of tragedy, loss, and drastic change, the weight of the world often comes crashing down so hard that it can shatter the sense of normalcy, stability, or security that each of us learns to associate with reality. Under such circumstances, we are forced to confront the fractured and trembling foundations which exist all around us — in our institutions and our communities; our relationships with the natural world and our relationships with loved ones. And as a response, we often feel the terrible shudder of the crumbling fixtures which we have constructed within ourselves, whether knowingly or unknowingly, on the hope that we might hold ourselves together, through times of trouble and times of peace.

That being said, as scary as it is to feel our sense of reality come apart at the seams, this dream-like state of disorientation and existential crisis is not all bad or hopeless. In fact, it carries with it the necessary hope and the necessary work of reinvention. It breaks us from our routines and exposes the places where we must re-evaluate and redefine our most basic perceptions about the world and about ourselves — that way we may re-imagine, or else revitalize, what is truly worthwhile in our lives. It leaves room for us to rethink what we consider to be beautiful, just, and good; to improve who we are; to decide what we stand for; to re-envision what kind of world we want to live in and make together.

Overall, that’s all this journal has ever really been about — creating a space where we can broaden our perceptions of reality, so that we may find compassion, strength and beauty in life. It is a celebration of the fact that good and beautiful things are there to be found, even while fires burn and flowers bloom.”

– Nick Huffman, Editor-in-Chief