Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
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Aphelion Editorial 048

June 2001

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield

Hello and welcome!

I'd like to apologise for the lateness of this issue, which is entirely my fault. This has been the hardest issue of Aphelion that I've ever done-- and I almost didn't get it done at all. Due to last month's severe weather keeping me offline most of the month, a minor bout of food poisoning from a local seafood restaurant, and some distressing developments in my personal life-- I almost let myself wallow in depression and find a hole to crawl into and pull shut behind me.


But you helped me keep my head screwed on straight.

You see, I owe you. Each and every one of you. Every reader, every writer, each member of the Aphelion staff-- All of you. And I pay my debts.

Aphelion is more than a mere hobby for me, its an obsession. As Publisher, I feel that I've made a promise to each and every one of you that there will be an issue of Aphelion every month. No matter what's going on in my life, I'm committed to putting out the next issue, and the next, and the next... Come hail or high water.

So here I am on June 6th, finally getting off my butt to fulfil my obligations. "What a long, strange trip its been..."

So what am I going to rant about for this editorial? Well, I can't do anything about the weather, the restaurant in question has been advised that they need to tighten up on their food quality or next time they'll see me in court, and my personal problems would bore you to tears... So what's left?

My thoughts keep coming back to the subject of my obligations. From where I stand, that's a curious concept. An un-written, un-spoken promise to people worldwide that remain un-seen to me. A mental contract, so to speak. Now that's heavy. But how do these sorts of things come about? Gradually? Suddenly? Overtly? Covertly? Is it a form of "honor" or is it a type of mental illness? What makes us as human beings feel that we have incurred a debt to others?

Obligations pop up everywhere in our lives. Some of them without our consent, some even without our notice, but there they are. We feel driven to discharge the debt-- (or at least I do and I figure I'm pretty average for a human. Anything I can do, you can learn to do if you want.) As writers, we're obligated to produce the best work that we can. As readers, we're obligated to give the writers an honest chance to entertain us. (As Editors, we're obligated to get off our butts and get the job done. LOL!) Obligations can steal our time away and leave us with nothing left over for ourselves. They can also give us the incentive that we need to keep going, despite the obstacles that our lives put in our way. Like everything else in our all too human lives, our obligations can be either constructive or destructive, hot or cold, positive or negative. Its really up to each of us to make of our own lives the best that we are able. That's an obligation to ourselves!

The life that you are living right now is the only one you're going to have (or remember-- if you believe in reincarnation) so you are obligated to yourself to make it the best one you can possibly have. "To thine own self be true..."

You owe it to yourself to be the best "you" that you can be. Yeah, I know that US Army has a copyright on that "be all that you can be" jazz. But my point is that its a true statement for everyone, everywhere! Life is far too short to waste on half-assed efforts, self pity, or even procrastination. If you've got something that you need to do, do it! Do it now! Do it the best that you are able and take pride in your work, then go on to the next job, the next task, the next obligation. Sure, its a never-ending chain of debts to others, but that's just life. All of us face the same things, all of us have our own problems.

The trick is not to get overwhelmed by the problems. You are not alone. Never have been, never will be. We are all interconnected by obligations to each other. Use them as a source of strength, not as a source of dispair. Its not a chain holding you down, it’s a lifeline holding us all together for safety.

You are not alone. I'm here for when you need me. And thank you for being there for me when I need you.

Thanks for your time.



2001 Dan L. Hollifield

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