Spoiled for Choice

This week’s issue is one that I think a lot of the Best of articles are going to end up coming from at the end of the year. It’s that good.  To start with, Elisa Neven-Pugh has come back with a brief tale about her tribulations with long COVID and what she gained from it. Making it our feature article may be a bit of a personal choice on my part because there’s some backstory here.

Elisa actually sent something in a few weeks ago which you’ve never seen.  I was confused when I received it because it wasn’t a text file.  It was audio.  Since then I’ve mostly transcribed it, but made a decision somewhere along the way that I didn’t want to publish it.

The reason is because that piece of audio, which she obviously recorded when she was just starting to deal with the effects of COVID on her, is so raw, so personal, and so incredibly heartbreaking that although it’s an amazing piece, putting it on paper doesn’t do it justice.  There’s no way that I can make you, as a reader, understand the emotion and fear and effort she was putting in to simply being able to voice her thoughts and feelings.  There’s just no way that I can make it come through from the text, and the text is such that without being able to hear that emotion, it comes off as almost simple or trite.  This shouldn’t be surprising or thought of as a point against the piece because, in reality, our most honest emotions usually come from places that are very simple: the desire to avoid pain, to be loved, to survive, to be happy or accepted. It’s just rare that any of us see or hear them in such a raw form.  I feel very privileged, and humbled, that she allowed me to hear it, but there was no way that I could make it work in text form.

So instead, this week, we have her back in text having gained some distance from that time and being able to tell us how she came through it and what she gained from it, and for that I’ve made it the feature of this week.

Also being featured this week is Alek Golijanin’s look at child soldiers.  It’s informative, personal, and absolutely worth the read, bringing attention back to a problem that most of us heard about, expressed our concern and horror, and then, if you’re like me, promptly forgot about because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t really affect most of us. And then I absolutely had to include Barb Lehtiniemi’s article on streaking, not only because it’s a fun read but because it’s obvious click-bait, and, like everyone else on the internet, if you have an easy way to bring up the viewers, why wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, I only get to put three articles in the featured slot, and this week deserves more.  Take a moment to read Natalia Iwanek’s article “Meals As Nostalgia.”  It’s one of those reads that I expect will give you some feels, and then don’t forget to check out Alek’s other article where he revisits the issue of recycling phone numbers in a digital age.  Once you’ve read all those, head to the Fly on the Wall, not only for the read, but also for the serendipitous connections it has with the other articles in this week’s Voice Magazine.  And already I’m running out of room to talk about this stuff but there’s more. Marie Well has an article about assisted dying that I absolutely disagree with, but it’s still a decent read, there’s a look from Jessica Young about Attachment Theory and how you can use it, plus, of course, scholarships, events, reviews, recipes, advice, and more. Really just too much to talk about this week.  So go and enjoy the read!  I certainly did!