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“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”
Vincent van Gogh

What is your calling? Is it a vocation or an invitation? Is it divinely inspired? Perhaps your calling is in the act itself – the calling out on injustice; the cry out in protest; or perhaps your calling is to be the best version of you; or maybe it’s to lift your community, to give back through creativity or volunteerism.

Since childhood, I’ve been drawn to creativity, found internal reward in creating with my hands. It began with crayons and crossed over into other areas, including poetry. I’ve also had crossover in my careers, though I believe my overall calling has been to inspire and to motivate others, to support them as mentor and advocate, to help them discover their gifts. I’ve found this to be especially true as a teacher, talent agent, and as an arts administrator. After nearly a lifetime, I’ve come to realize that the threads weaving it all together have been compassion, empathy, and intuition, where my creative alignment occurs through inspiration – “being in-spirit.”

We are grateful and honored to publish the words and stories in this issue. Thank you to the authors for their expressions of heart, mind, and soul. Here, you’ll find a variety of callings, including the gift of kindness – to give to others what wasn’t given to you; the recognition of joy in the moment – to experience a dog’s exuberance for life; the gift of survival – to aid another human being with a new heart; to be, to burn, to know, to want, to witness, to go deeper, to acknowledge that there is something more . . .

Whatever your calling(s), I hope you find these literary and photographic offerings inspiring, even instrumental in stirring something undiscovered in you.

Lastly, we are thrilled to announce the 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominees for fiction and poetry:

March issue, All That Glitters: “Sold,” by Elise Hempel (poetry).

June issue, Darkness and Light: “The Darkness on the Edge of Town,” by Carys Crossen (fiction) and “Before taking root this darkness,” by Simon Perchik (poetry).

September issue, Trouble: “The Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues,” by Ellen Herbert (fiction), “The Phantom Scribbler,” by Siobhan Neville (fiction), and “Losing Winter,” by Ellen Stone (poetry).

Thank you for visiting Halfway Down the Stairs. In March of 2020, we look forward to celebrating our 50th issue. Our theme for this special celebration is Milestones.

—Jeannie E. Roberts, Poetry Editor


Jeannie E. Roberts is a poetry editor at Halfway Down the Stairs.

© 2019, Jeannie E. Roberts

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