The Edge Outer
Made in Paradise
A week or so ago, I was looking at a nicely designed, well made item, and I wondered where it was manufactured. I turned it over, expecting to find its country of origin. There it was, clearly printed on the bottom: Made in Paradise. I laughed out loud and thought, isn’t that a cheeky thing to write? So where is Paradise?
I’ve spent the time since then envisioning a small tropical island near the equator, an artists’ enclave tucked away in the hinterlands of a mountain retreat, or a vineyard in the South of France. All those places could be defined as paradise, I suppose. But wherever we are, I realized, it’s up to us to make our own paradise.
Today, May 4, the last day of production on this issue of The Edge, I write my editorial. I always save it for the end, as it serves as a sort of commencement exercise for each issue. I’m at one of the computers in my home office, with a 17-year-old cat purring loudly on my lap (and impeding my two-fingered typing process); the English setters are sleeping soundly on the floor behind me; Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone – arguably one of the most painfully beautiful CDs ever produced – emanates from the stereo speakers, punctuated by the sounds of Canada geese in the canal; and when I look out the windows, I see the lush green foliage of the old-growth timber and graceful dogwood trees that surround my island retreat and provide shelter for the deer that make my yard their home. How many can claim something like this as their work environment? Paradise is right here.
Only yesterday, a good friend challenged me to help preserve and protect the paradise in which we live. “So where do you want to be in six months?” he asked. Reacting as if we were talking about the following week, I said, “Six months? Why, that’s just around the corner.”
“And it’s light years away,” he countered, with a grin.
A lot can happen in six months. Head on, we can meet the issues of alternative fuels, beach nourishment, off-shore drilling, building moratoriums, protecting our children, providing low-income housing and campaigning for peace – or we can remain bystanders. I believe that our readers and our contributors opt for intelligent action. We all need to challenge each other, and remind each other that we’re not struggling alone or in vain.
In this issue, we attempt to bring some challenges and thought-provoking issues home to you. In “Real Returns,” Will Woodard eloquently addresses the issue of quality versus quantity. Mary Ellen Riddle interviews a number of independent booksellers from Corolla through Ocracoke Island who thrive in an industry that’s fast disappearing in many areas of the country. Don’t blame it on the big-box stores: we as consumers make the choices as to where we buy our books, and it’s up to us to support our local merchants and producers.
In “Leave No Child Inside,” Brian McCombie advocates getting children outdoors and addresses “nature-deficit disorder,” while in Joe Jancsurak’s “Horsing Around in the Name of Peace,” we bring you an overview of what we at Outer Banks Press are attempting to accomplish with the Peace Horse Project. Finally, Sarah Downing gives us a glimpse into Jay Bender’s world, where he’s always looking to the future and searching for solutions, such as using vehicles powered by electricity or biodiesel.
“Why do I have to make my own fuel?” Bender muses. “There’s something not right about that. We should have been working on alternative fuels since the oil shortages of 1973!”
What can we do to make the world a better place? What do you want to accomplish – where do you want to be in six months? As Bender said to me recently: “Let’s not be sitting here when we’re in our 60s, discussing things that we should have done right now, while we’re in our 40s.” It’s up to us to help maintain the paradise of where we choose to live.
Welcome to The Edge – Made in Paradise.
All the best,
Linda Lauby EDITOR AND PUBLISHER