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There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors. ­– Jim Morrison

At Halfway Down the Stairs, we love the liminal spaces. It’s in our name – the mystery, irresistibility, and might-have-been of between.

There’s a deceptive simplicity to it – opening and closing a door, walking down a stairway. But when I looked for more complex wisdom to inform this editor’s note, all I found was a plethora of contradictory Hallmark-style instructions, fixated on action: “Be an opener of doors.” “Some doors are best left closed.” “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” – which might as well be a commandment to make lemonade. In fact, I think, it’s the liminal space that is most interesting.

In the professional world they ask us how comfortable we are with ambiguity and sometimes that seems to mean how comfortable we are with poor direction, mixed messages, and shifting sands. But there’s something in the idea of resting for a while in the in-between – something that we miss when we look for the easy pathway, the ‘open and shut’ argument.

In this issue of Halfway Down the Stairs, we explore what happens when we open and close those doors. Fear, loss, escape, growth, enigma – moments in time between change and before revelation, that hang in our brains and demand that we make sense of them. We’re very grateful to all our poets and writers for their continued brilliance, and hope you enjoy exploring this issue.

Our next issue will be our sixtieth, and is themed CITIES. We can’t wait to see where this takes you. We will be open for submissions until August 1, 2022.

Alison Stedman is a senior fiction editor at Halfway Down the Stairs.

© 2022, Alison Stedman

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