Letter from the Editor: Love, The Monthly

Jennifer Zhan, Monthly Editor

The Monthly

What is love? The question has been asked by artists around the world, from Trinidadian-German singer Haddaway to the K-pop girl group TWICE.

Luckily for them, I have the answer: Love is the theme of The Monthly this issue.

Alright, alright, that’s sort of a cop-out. But hey, love isn’t easy to define. Love is blind, hard and patient, love is love, love finds a way… society has a lot to say about this particular feeling of affection.

Obviously, many people associate this month with romantic love because of Valentine’s Day. But in February, we also celebrate Lunar New Year and Black History Month, and there’s love for a community and culture there too. To me, many different types of platonic bonds are equally worth celebrating, including the relationships we have with our family, with our friends, with our pets and even with ourselves.

We can also love things that are less tangible. I never pass up any chance to tell the story of when my sister was in grade school and learned about all the things we can do that are possible because of electricity. Feeling full of love and gratitude, she came home, kissed a lightbulb and nearly burned her lips. While that’s certainly more of a humorous example, I do believe there is often a lot of power in the love we hold for concepts and ideas.

Love shows up in many different ways in the pages of this edition of The Monthly. Our cover story features the creator of one of my favorite sitcoms, who highlights her vision of love through her shows. We also have stories that touch on the self-love of skincare and that examine the portrayal of failing relationships. Many of the people we spotlight are driven by love for their craft, whether that is composing classical music or writing poetry or baking customized cakes and cupcakes.

Personally, this month was a pretty hard one for me, but I am fortunate that the people in my life showed me a lot of love when I needed it. Right around the time that a winter storm was brewing in my home state of Texas, The Monthly’s staff met virtually for the first time this quarter to get to know each other and share our excitement about our work in this issue and issues to come.

I hope you can feel the love that went into these pages.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @jenniferzhann