issue 03: body of water
letter from the editor
Lake Michigan before moonrise at Madonna della Strada Chapel, October 1, 2020. Courtesy Unyimeabasi Udoh.
We spent the summer sitting by the lake, at various distances: on a bench, on the sand, on the lawn of the park nearby—and, in the evenings, on nights with a full moon, on a shelf above the rocks. Physical contact was rationed out for special occasions, with what were usually the smallest bodies of water swelling to fill the space between us. So we kept ourselves apart, in orbit: our bodies of water and this body of water, this far from each other and this far from the beach.
We were chased by a wasp three or four times. In retrospect, maybe it was trying to send a message; maybe we should have sought out safety inland. We stayed out until it got hot, and then we stayed out until it got cold. As spring turns to summer, we’ll return to the shore.
Plates Issue 03’s breakfast smorgasbord features a range of explorations of personal and collective bodies of water, how these bodies of water carry us, how we carry them within us, and how they may connect or else divide.
In “Lands of my Waters” Jasmin Singh explores the fluidity of her belonging to the three lands she knows as home, while Gabriel Chalfin-Piney’s “The Forbidden Fruit” travels through modes of hydration and dryness via a mythologised form of the history of grapefruit. In “An Immemorial,” artists Jonathan Kay and Connah Podmore discuss their investigations of water, the former in studies of dead ice, the latter in research of archival photographs.
Ebere Agwuncha’s visual essay “Fluid Cusps” offers a series of vignettes depicting intimate moments of connection with water. Ashleigh Taupaki’s personal essay “In Search of Ureia” tells of her journey towards a greater physical and spiritual connection with Ureia, a river-dwelling guardian of her people, and in “The Rivers in the Places We Have Lived Together,” Mána Taylor Hjörleifsdóttir seeks to understand the movement of her life with her partner though the flow of the bodies of water they have travelled alongside.
Thank you so much for swigging a dram of Plates Issue 03: Body of Water, the liquid breakfast of champions. Please follow our Instagram and Facebook pages to stay abreast of exciting developments.
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*Sip sip ahh*
Casey Carsel and Unyimeabasi Udoh