Eleven writers and four featured artists share space in this 98 page-long issue. The glossy finish on every page, a very artistic layout, and deep thought writings make this issue of Stone Voices a perfect coffee table magazine. It carries a byline of “art-spirituality-mindfulness-creativity,” calling out for readers looking inside to invest some time rather than a distracted flip through. That is not to say the material is not entertaining.
Each of the included art portfolios were placed at regular intervals between some heavy hitting words. Trained physicist Andy Ilachinski, “Synesthetic Landscapes,” and accredited artist Ralph Hassenpflug, “Dance . . . Like a Flame,” both worked with the medium of photography. Ilachinski hopes to elicit in his audiences a melding of the senses through a series of photographs that twist light through a glass in very colorful ways. Hassenpflug presents a series of photos that he hopes represent “a connection between the world and myself, between archetypes and myself.”
I found more worth in viewing the pieces of art created by Ann J Calandro, “City of Dreams,” and Lorna Filippini-Mulliken, “Water.” The works cannot be felt in their original scope, as the stated sizes of the pieces were much larger than the magazine itself, but both artists were able to capture nuances in their respective areas of interest. Calandro presents multi-media images of cityscapes that have a very gritty, real feel to them, even when only viewed on the glossy page. It is one of her works that graces the cover of this issue. Filippini-Mulliken took me to the beach and underwater in her art. I’ve always been a sucker for the sea, and I recommend anyone who feels the same to look up her work.
Columnist Vincent Louis Carrella, “Tree People,” uses photographs of some outstanding trees to make interesting and unique connections statements about what can be learned in nature. He talks about trees’ unflappable drive to support the community that is nature, even in death, how humans could benefit by learning to be similarly supportive. One line he proffers about a tree that would be good for humans to accept reads, “I will never be anything other than what I am.” Reading this article definitely got my philosophically creative juices flowing.
Teresa Piccari’s “Smoke and Mirrors: The Camden International Film Festival” is a wonderful narrative of her experience volunteering for a small town event with big town aspirations. She guides readers through small town Maine as she picks up and drops off various festival documentation and out-of-town bigwigs whom she may have never met without getting involved.
Each of the four features in this issue deserves attention. Carla Woody (“Acts of Creation”), Rob Ziegler (“Krantzie Paints the Wrong World Right”), and Megan Steusloff (“The Masterpiece”) all wrote beautiful pieces. I applaud them and think anyone who picks up this issue will enjoy their work.
Sandell Morse’s “Hidden Messages” is an intricate look at one boy’s survival through the Holocaust in a town that still balks at dealing with the topic. Morse was especially invested in telling this particular story accurately because the young boy and she both have the same family name: Hirsch. A good portion of the writing was done about her visit to Auvillar, France, the town where the boy lived. I was struck by her presentation of the deep history against Jewish people in that area and struck even harder by the ways she was turned away from asking too many questions by so many people on her visit. She was eventually able to find many of the answers she set out in search of in a letter that she had translated and puts it in print for anyone who picks up this issue. It is a compelling read filled with historical fact, made more impactful by the pairings throughout the article of photographs showing the faces of Holocaust victims.
I will close now with a quote from Neil Carpathios’s poem “Theophany.” It is in regards to why a handkerchief would be hanging from the tail of a kite: “. . . to try and dry the tears / of the clouds up there.” For me, these words play well on the widely used sports phrase “it’s all over but the crying,” and serve well to sum up the emotionality of this issue. This issue of Stone Voices will definitely affect whomever peruses its pages.