What drives the human mind to dream? Is it a projected image of what inspires us and provides us with meaning to our lives? Or is it a universal communication device that connects us all behind a metaphysical realm? Whether we dream of creation, the dream of achieving what has not done before, we all share in the curiosity of what they indeed can manifest.
When first asked to write for the relaunch of ATJ, "Aquarius the Journal,” I must admit I was extremely hesitant. I never really considered myself to be a writer, I tend to overanalyze everything and try to make my work as perfect as it can be. I get nervous too easily, and even when I am writing this in my tiny bedroom in the suburbs, my mind keeps processing any number of terrible scenarios that can conceivably come true. The truth is, I learned that I care too much for the work and people I share that work. My vice of almost, “overthinking” about everything as generated a virtue in agonizing over every decision that goes into making ATJ the best it can be.
Within the past few weeks of working with V V Patchouli on the startup of ATJ, I can say that I have found a voice and power within myself that I thought I never had. I began learning a lot more about myself, opening the door to vulnerability and tearing down any wall that stood in the way. In an attempt for self-discovery, I have begun learning to create my world and identity, tearing down any doubts that have risen in my way. Along the way, I have accepted life for what it is: a genuinely mystifying balance between chaos and creation. I have learned to become more comfortable with myself, which in return, as allowed me to be more comfortable with others and establish a community of self-accepting, courageous, confident people. We can always try to hide and hinder that inner-dialogue within our heads telling us otherwise, but if we learn to live with it and turn it into something more constructive, we can learn to overcome the oppression and struggles we all live with…
"Aquarius the Journal" is an online publication that explores the themes of "identity, community, and sustainability.” Reflecting and creating an inquiry on the lives of those who dare to create, the journal is here to establish a connection to the thinkers, artists, do-ers, designers, entrepreneurs, nomads, and writers of the world. It is for those who strive to discover their terms in the universe. We are here to build a long lasting safe-space and community for those who have dealt with the conceptions of chaos, creativity, meditation, and life's endless journeys. We have learned to build ourselves from the ground up, manifesting those dreams and doubts that made us who we are.
Within "Aquarius the Journal," you will be introduced to a selection of interviews, prose, poetry, creative fiction, and reflections. These are pieces in which we hope will inspire, educate, and advocate for people, lifestyles, and causes that we care about. Some publications highlight individuals and doers who have created businesses, ideas, or works of art that support local and global efforts in sustainability and community. Some works highlight how to open our minds and grow as individuals and gain perspectives we may be blind to. All of these works contained herein contain thought-provoking, intellectual, or creative exploration and interrogation. It is finally a credit to all of those within whose voices are dared to be heard.
Our first article for the relaunch is our interview with artist, Rita Aida Parola, whose portraits of the homeless are bringing a voice to those affected by gentrification and displacement within the community of Asbury Park, New Jersey. As someone who started off as a fashion photographer for her sister’s clothing brand, she went from a shy, self-conscious photography hobbyist to an undaunted activist for the homeless. Her portraits not only capture the many faces of those who are struggling but provide a story of the men and women fighting to be seen.
I hope that the voices that emerged to shape the relaunch of ATJ will represent a beginning in the shift towards a new understanding of what it means to be a human today. Within the community we have established thus far, I believe that we have created a place that is as true-to-life as the those who have lovingly contributed to it. I hope you can feel it, too. I welcome you to the incredible journey that is, "Aquarius the Journal," and sincerely hope you enjoy the content found within our community. So dive on in, move a little forward, and never be afraid to raise your voice and strive to do the unthinkable.
With much gratitude,