Letter from the Editor
I cannot pinpoint the first time I tried to imitate the world around me through writing. My memories mesh into a single truth: I have always looked outside in wonderment, clinging to letters, then words, sentences, then paragraphs, stories, then finally, poems, as a means of consolidating my questions, joys, and moments of quiet. At least one thousand times a week, you are guaranteed to hear me murmur, “That’s so poetic”—at the very top of the swings at a local playground as I people-watch the tiny bodies below me or at a Thai restaurant in Salem, listening delightedly to Arya as she describes her best friends from India, her eyes full of light, her voice coated in agave.
My first time focusing my whole soul into a poem was in fourth grade when I competed in a school-wide Mother’s Day acrostic poetry competition hosted by Zales Jewelry. The winner would receive a free bracelet to give to their mom. I paid painstaking attention to every letter of my mom’s name, choosing the words that best captured her essence and my adoration—so when I lost, I was crushed. I desperately wanted to give my mom a present I had earned with my words. Instead, I felt like they failed me. I was nine years old and had no money to gift my mom, so I devised a plan to sneak some bills out of my dad’s wallet. Eventually, my guilt overwhelmed me, and I came clean. Instead of the disappointment I expected, mom smiled a knowing smile, held the poem to her heart, and taught me a song: The Loser Song. It had a dance and everything. It was my first of many lessons in learning how to lose while simultaneously appreciating the art I created amidst that loss, art that strove to imitate and observe everyday experiences and everyday people.
In the interest of transparency, I am revealing to you that I did not know what the word mimesis meant before I began working on this issue. Even after choosing our theme, I wondered if the word would be a unifying concept or if it was too niche to attract writers. But as submissions came in, I soon realized that the very act of writing is mimesis. Mimesis is seeing Jesus in a Pool of Milk; it is the process of documenting Marigolds and Orchids and Summer Storms; it is capturing Indian classical dance, and it is the world through Drunk Goggles.
As I write to you now, I am reminded of myself three years ago, nervously perched over my Chromebook in the darkness of my ombre violet bedroom, writing my Why Tufts? essay and gushing over the chance to write for the Tufts Observer. Each time I get to see our magazine in print, in your lovely hands, I am filled with pride. And to each of you who takes the time to read our words, I thank you for allowing me to indulge in my little thoughts and reflections on the world, its writers, and their imitations.
I am so excited to welcome you to Issue 3, Fall 2023, Mimesis. <3