Emily Steinberg takes a walk “In the Woods” with her dog, Gus, in her visual narrative found in the Midsummer 2020 issue of Cleaver. During her walk, she focuses on Gus and her surroundings, reflecting on the way the real world and its real problems seem far away. In the woods, “All human makings disappear . . .” and there is only the sounds of the wind in the trees and the creek and Gus’s paws around her. This moment doesn’t last forever, though. She has to cross the threshold back into the real world where everything “comes sweeping back. Crowding my brain. Not letting me breathe.” But for a moment there is peace.
This short visual narrative gives readers a moment of peace as well as we soak in the quiet moment of respite along with Steinberg. Each panel features only Gus, a fluffy scribble of a dog padding through the woods, a dog always good comfort when it’s needed. The piece works as a good reminder to take a moment to find calm and quiet in the midst of the tragedies and turmoil swirling around us. By taking these moments, we’re able to recharge as we head back into the real world to face everything once more.