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July Newsletter

I had wanted this month to write about balance. The pure joy and ease I felt swimming in the ocean, floating on my back and being one with water, air, sun; staring out into the wet and thinking, I am fire and this water is all I need, and thinking, if you want to take me I will go, and thinking, I am small, I am so small. I kept trying to swim out farther than everyone else at the beach, but every time I turned back to look at the shore I saw only how humbling the ocean is, how close I still was to the other people and the sand, just how far—how unfathomably far—I still was from anywhere close to nowhere, to the terrifying, unforgiving deep. I had wanted to write about being near the ocean with my mother, a water sign—how she stuck to the sand, soaking up every possible ounce of sun—and I, her daughter, took immediately to the water and stayed there for an hour and then went back again. I can hardly think about the ocean right now, even though it holds so much power over me, is necessary to keep me balanced. I can hardly feel balanced, easeful, soothed. I am not balanced. I am not easeful. I am not soothed. I am devastated. I am furious. I am terrified. To be a woman in this country, I have long understood, is to be reduced, to be forced to be smaller, to be convenient, to be quiet, to be whistled at when you are eighteen and walking on the sidewalk in the suburb where you are a freshman in college, to be frozen solid ten years later when you are sitting alone on your porch and a man stops his car and leans out the window to tell you he just had to circle around and drive by again to tell you how good you look, goddamn honey oh my, to be expected to take such aggressions as a compliment. To be flattered. To not be afraid. But I, as a woman, am almost always afraid. If you are a woman, or a person who can become pregnant, or a person who loves a woman, any woman—a person who values life—I implore you to remain vigilant, to find ways to support those who have just lost their constitutional right to make choices about their bodies, to protect and care for themselves; those who may be in medical danger and not have the access, the right, the support, to save themselves; those who are no longer (and this, mind you, is nothing new, it is merely now official) considered humans but vessels. I encourage all of us to do our research, to donate money, to offer support to those who need it in any way we are able and willing. Caring for each other is no longer an option. Caring for each other is the only way to protect life. *** In June, The Champagne Room hosted a virtual reading to celebrate the release of Issue 02. We were joined by many, although certainly not all, of our brilliant contributors sharing their work. I am still haunted by hearing them read these words with which I had grown so familiar as an editor, words that became new again, arresting, provoking, amusing, urgent. It was a treat to witness these writers, to share space with them, to celebrate this way in which we are now connected. A recording of the reading, and the subsequent Q&A session, is now available to view here. To read the work of those who participated, and every single other extraordinary contribution to Issue 02, please consider purchasing a copy. Later this month we will be bringing you a conversation with Issue 02 contributor Ron L Estrada, author of “House, Undone." His thoughts on breath patterns in sentences, body-listening, and rejections as carpet crumbs will be available on July 15th. Love and Light, Heather (she/her) Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Champagne Room


Copies of The Champagne Room are now available at Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA

The Champagne Room - July Newsletter
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