Essence: “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.”
What is our character? What keeps us going? What do we think about before bed and when we wake up? These are questions we answer and re-answer month by month, year by year, throughout our lives. We might be images plastered at the end of the universe, but that doesn’t stop us from reaching out our stick-figure hands for the whispers of maple trees in autumn or the dying rays of summer sun, Spanish Banks stretching into July.
When I ask myself what is the essence of our school year, what made our school year special, it is not COVID that comes to mind. We did not let COVID hamper our laughter, smiles, friendships. We bonded together and became stronger through the plastic sheets, the social distancing, the tiny on-screen rectangles. At Surging Tide, we held online meetings and open-art zooms. We edited each others’ pieces, chatting about exams and classes, art exhibits and literary journals.
Michelle, Wren, Ellie, Lucas, Elsa, Angel, Mikaela, Eden, Alex, Leah, Stephanie, Rubi, Zara, and Tiffany, thank you for grounding me—grounding us—this year. I’m so glad we created something unifying and beautiful out of the chaos of 2021, and I’m so thrilled to continue working on Surging Tide Magazine next year with you next year. To those graduating, your leadership, ideas, and art and writing will be dearly missed next year. Go shake up the world; we’ll be watching.
Dear reader, we’ve been slowly finding our essence as a magazine, publication by publication. Thank you for staying with us, for supporting us. We’re grateful for you, and we hope you enjoy Issue Four.
This year has been relentless. Between the mask-wearing, the seemingly endless flurry of restrictions, and the everyday tragedies on the news, 2020 threw us into the deep end without a life raft. But within the chaos, art and writing reminded us of the beauty to be found in the small. Our new reality’s seemingly insignificant aspects: a nod in the halls, a picnic at the beach. A conversation about heritage with our parents. Like the speaker in Ellie’s poem, “a quiet i seek is a silence i betray,” we were faced with “cacophony, [but] in this silent din [we] sought quiet.”
Art has the potential to transport us to different realities. It can allow us to interact with other cultures and characters—real or imagined—and, in the end, gain greater empathy for those around us. Take, for example, Wren’s short story “Memories Are Such Fickle Things” where the speaker explores the fringes of memory and reality. Take, too, Emily Duan’s artwork, where she contrasts China’s cultures and social norms and her family’s past with contemporary photographs, reflecting on the global social and cultural paradigm shift throughout the past decades.
This year has taught us the importance of taking breaks. To reflect, internally and externally, on our lives and our communities. To remember the big picture. To hold the delicate snowglobe of our lives in our palms and to observe it from a new angle. The work in this issue allows us to do just that: to dive into new realities in words and colour.
This issue was made possible by our contributors, representing eight different schools across British Columbia. Thanks to Alicia Tai, Emerald Yun, Emily Duan, Erin Xi, Samantha Chan, and Kate Ankerman, as well as the Surging Tide readers and editors for submitting such creative and thought-provoking work. Without further ado, I warmly invite you into Surging Tide Issue Two: Exhale.
We are living in unprecedented times. Having a creative outlet to express and reflect can help ground us and give us a sense of normalcy as we adapt to this new world. We are honoured to present issue one of Surging Tide Magazine, an anchor for thoughts, a postcard for expression. Especially in turbulent times, students' voices can speak volumes.
Surging Tide aims to be an inclusive environment. We aim to highlight WPGA's creativity without judgement. We hope that you, by immersing yourself in these pages, find peace within, and are inspired to explore your own thoughts, emotions, and ideas through creativity.
These pages hold incredible nascent voices. We hope you enjoy the read.