A Letter from the Editor
Welcome to Issue 21 of StepAway Magazine.
From the four hundred and fifty submissions we received since publishing our previous issue, nine walking narratives stood apart from the rest. Collectively, the work featured in this issue made me ponder our motives for walking. So often, the walk takes the trajectory of the street, path, or road, and with its natural forward momentum seduces us into believing that the destination at the end of that path is the ultimate purpose of walking. But what about walking specifically to escape?
I am reminded of the introduction to Seven Miles a Second, where David Wojnarowicz writes: “The minimum speed required to break through the earth’s gravitational pull is seven miles a second. Since economic conditions prevent us from gaining access to rockets or spaceships we would have to learn to run awfully fast to achieve escape from where we are heading”.
Here, gaining momentum is an effort to uproot oneself, and although we will never gain sufficient speed to truly transcend or slip our situations, movement is an expression of intolerance. To stand still is to accept the predicament, to succumb to the fact that we are metaphorically and physically rooted to the spot. Yet to gain speed is to protest, to search for change even if change appears to be ultimately unattainable.
This theme runs through and implicitly knits together this issue to the point that even the dapper figure in our cover photograph appears to be pondering the inescapable shadow that stretches out before him.
The photograph was kindly donated by Bulgarian photographer, Aleksander Mogilo. With his learned camera eye, he has the rare ability to capture the pace and transition of the city at street level. His subjects are often lost in the hypnotic momentum of urban life, or their hypnosis is momentarily broken by the recognition of the photographer’s presence. It is impossible not to play the flâneur and guess at their story. Aleksander’s excellent portfolio can be found on Instagram and Facebook.
Issue 21 also boasts a wonderful line-up of writers: Anna Amo, Seth Amos, Patrick Deeley, Ceinwen Elizabeth Cariad Haydon, Julie Hogg, Rayon Lennon, Marie Lightman, Simon Perchik and G.B. Ryan.
And it is now only fair that I step aside and let the work of our talented writers speak for itself.
Darren Richard Carlaw