I’m terrible at predictions. We picked the theme of this issue in February 2021—ten months ago, though it feels like ten years. That was before I made my first trip to the drive-through vaccination clinic at the Portland airport, before Oregon students returned to their classrooms, before I thought of Delta as anything but the name of an airline. I assumed, at the time, that by December the pandemic would be a fading memory, and we’d all be eager to look toward the future.
In August, after a few brief but joyful weeks of meeting in person, I and most of my colleagues returned to working from home full-time. It felt natural to go back to the smeary, unending now I’ve inhabited for nearly two years—back to hunkering down, back to waiting for what comes next.
But we don’t have time to wait. In the face of overlapping crises—economic, environmental, political—we need bold visions for the future. In this issue, you’ll find stories of people who are looking beyond the here and now, reconsidering the ways we see the landscape and each other, and reimagining the ways we connect, collaborate, and cultivate. I hope they’ll inspire you to dream beyond the present and to reach toward what comes next.
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