My fascination with tarot began in a sunlit room in the winter in Vermont. I was about to graduate, to receive an MFA in Creative Writing, and was connecting with the two dear women with whom I’d shared a mystical advisor. Together we sat on the floor around a low, glass-topped table, and drew cards: one to represent each of us, another to represent what tethered us. This final card we drew was the Two of Cups: representative of intimate sharing, seeing another for who they are, a willingness to share, an ability to trust. Communion. Acknowledgment. Understanding. We took this card as a chance to consider authenticity in our lives and asked: How can we continue to illuminate one another? One of these women was E.A. Midnight. We had spent the last six months writing each other letters, sometimes as many as three a week, and we felt a hunger, an urgency, to continue to find ways to collaborate. We have wanted for a long time to combine our energies, to create something with both of our names on it. That room, the quiet, that moment, that season, those women: this is often a place I picture when I meditate, not only the environment itself, the tall pines and the snow and the fading sunlight, but also the security I felt being in the presence of others who knew that I saw them, who made me feel so beautifully seen. I think many of us spend our lives seeking spaces in which we feel contained rather than confined. We look for people who let us feel able to light up, to be true and open and wild, to share, to surrender to—we seek the container of others, their words, their bodies, their histories, their light. My brother has told me that the difference between us is that I seek to make everywhere feel like home while he seeks to make everywhere actually home. What he was trying to say: I am always searching for a feeling rather than trying to find a place to stay; I want places to feel like a part of me more than I want to feel a part of a place. (This is the privilege of having such deep roots connecting me to the first place I called home.) This is perhaps why I feel so drawn to rooms, to the notion of a room, to the possibilities of what such a space can be—a container to capture a feeling: security, comfort, joy, devastation, loneliness, vulnerability, warmth. A room is, of course, what we make it. A room, I think, can also make us. The Champagne Room has always been meant to serve as a space for literature. This is why it has been important, from the journal’s conception, that the pages exist as something physical, an object that can be held and carried, annotated, spilled upon and stained, torn, lost, rediscovered, drooled over, slept with, protected. We want to continue to explore the expansiveness of place, the interpretations of a room. Working on The Champagne Room now, with my dear, celestial, ghost-sister, writer and friend, I am finding the experience more authentic, as if we are once again sharing space, illuminated by the winter sun, and possibility, and by the tenderness of understanding. In reality, we live in different time zones and different states. Still that is the power of chasing a feeling: rather than being nowhere, we are now, together, here. In the coming months, we will continue to seek submissions for ISSUE 02. In these newsletters, we will continue to share what we are thinking about, what we are reading, what our past contributors and editors are up to, what spaces have resonated with us out in the world, what pulls at us, what brings us light. We are so excited to be working together to share this space with you. Love and Light, Heather (she/her) Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Champagne Room
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