One night about two years ago, I was lying on a cot in the mountains of Colorado, freezing. Frost covered the ground and the camping gear. Too cold to sleep, I decided to think about something purposeful, since I was "between" jobs and not sure where my art career was headed. I ruminated about my accomplishments, my interests and things I wished I had done.
One of my desires had always been to work on a magazine that sends you places— near and far—where I could meet all kinds of people to learn about their circumstances and their lives. Be it difficult, humorous, sorrowful, enlightening, or disturbing, I wanted to experience it all. But most publications don't do that anymore, so I had to find another way.
I'm very concerned about the human condition, society and the physical world we live in. I sense that many people share that concern, but are too busy to learn about specific issues. Thinking like this, on that cot beneath the cold, starry sky, it hit me: in this age of self-publishing, why not start my own magazine? One that explores societal issues, but goes beyond awareness - one that searches for connections between people who live a certain experience and those who observe it. Or, those who never even dreamed it but are affected by it all the same. It would be a publication that puts the viewer in the place of the viewed and even, the unseen.
Enter the word, "See." How often do we look at things and not really see them? Not really absorb what the object or the situation is all about? As a photographer, I have learned that looking does not necessarily mean you understand something. You must examine a place, a person, an event or an idea with awareness. Add to that compassion and you start to have an understanding of the world around you and the inner workings of humanity.
That is our goal here at SEE Magazine. As the definition of "see" states, "to investigate or inquire, to perceive meanings with the mind, to comprehend, understand, to think over a given matter, reflect." Through showcasing the work of non-profits and artists, we aim to present views on issues that enlighten the mind, inspire the psyche and bring us all in closer contact with each other. We welcome readers' suggestions and viewpoints on this blog.
My thanks go to all who helped make this first issue of SEE possible: to Dave Wright for his expertise and patience in setting up the website, for Rembrandt Quiballo's detailed work in editing the videos, for all SAAVI staff and clients who opened their doors and hearts to this project, and to Colleen Oakes for sticking with it through multiple changes and complications.
Emily and Colleen, this is a magazine I will follow closely. I have not finished reading/viewing this first issue -- there is so much to learn and think about and feel and yes, to see -- but I do not want to wait to say thank you for doing this. I am grateful for your creativity and diligence and commitment to compassion.