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Few words in the English language evoke as many mental images (hearts, cupids, pink…) hammered into our subconscious as love. Of course the theme for this issue of BLM couldn’t be just plain old vanilla “Love,” that would be too trite, too glib, and too easy. We tend to reflexively think of love as good, seeing it through the rosy lenses of society’s marketing. Indeed, most of the words we use to describe our feelings are fairly one dimensional; happiness, excitement, and compassion are all good, sadness, nervousness, and hatred are bad. Real love is different. Of all the emotions we experience, none is quite as double-edged. It can be good, bad or both; creative, destructive, melancholy and joyous. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us know that the pink flower and heart filled image of love ingrained into us as children hides the real ups and downs. Nothing can be more potentially dangerous to the psyche, spirit, and if you live in 16th century Verona, the body, than unrequited love. At the same time most of us (hopefully) remember the first time we found that special someone with whom that love was a shared feeling (and if you haven’t found that yet, may you love tomorrow). Of course, once found, we all know how fleeting that feeling can be.

The quote chosen for this issue’s theme is from a 2nd century AD poem titled 'Pervigilium Veneris' and encompasses both sides of the love equation. Whether you’re in or out of love, the plea for more resonates with all of us: “Let those who have never loved, love tomorrow; and let those who have loved, love tomorrow.” With these thoughts in mind, we looked for images that captured either the poignancy and subtle beauty of solitude (waiting for that love to arrive) or the joy and warmth of shared affection (hoping for even more). In either reflection, we looked for the feeling that truly drives us and the sentiment buried within the theme quote: hope for ourselves, and each other, that the future may be filled with love.

In Issue 3 you'll be introduced to the mesmerizing photographs of our featured artist, Susan Burnstine, whose unique style creates images that are at once evocative and enthralling. Then in David Shirk's interview with Kathleen Connally you'll have the opportunity to learn more about the woman behind the famous photoblog 'A Walk Through Durham Township Pennsylvania.' Lastly, you'll travel through India, Mexico, Italy and Pakistan with Nicola Okin Frioli and Agnese Sartori as they explore the ways in which ritual and love can be intertwined in traditional cultures.

As each issue of Bending Light Magazine comes together we are amazed by the sheer creativity and vitality that so many of you possess. Our sincere thanks to our contributing photographers and writers. Thank you for sharing your talent with us and for making BLM possible.

Submissions for Issue 4 are now closed. Check back on November 7th for the new issue of Bending Light Magazine and the theme announcement for Issue 5!

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© All photos and articles retain the copyright of the contributing artist. Everything else is copyright Bending Light Magazine 2006. No text or image from Bending Light Magazine may be used without written permission.