Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zine Review: Show & Tell by Rachel Lee Carman

The first adjective that crossed my mind when I received Show & Tell in my mailbox & opened the envelope unveiling these zines was: twee. And shame on this old guy for judging a zine by it's delightful cover. I decided to read all three of the issues Rachel generously sent on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Show & Tell #6 (Winter 2010) opens with some musings on winter (which even in early April had me shivering!) a recipe for pizza, a visual tour of coffeeshops that look like environs I'd love to immerse myself in, an article on poet/musician/activist Patti Smith, and ruminations on depression. As someone who has wrestled with and recovered from an intimate relationship with depression, for most of my life, I imagined crafting sagely responses to Rachel's thoughts, having been there done that and gotten the diploma after years of ongoing inner healing. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to navigate the shadows and feel the darkness and find our path through. Orange juice optional.

I didn't really relate to Show & Tell #7 (Childhood) but I intend to revisit this issue in the future when I'm in a different headspace. I felt that Show & Tell #8 is where Rachel really shines. The "Spiritual Issue" explores many questions and observations and practices about one's spirituality. I grew up Christian and spent much of my first 30 years on the planet wrestling with beliefs, gods, doctrine and dogma, going through an atheistic phase and eventually emerging a born again, treehugging pagan. I could see some of my own history and life reflected in Rachel's zine. Oh to be young again! But the secret is to be happy with who you are, where you are, and when you are. Be Here Now.

I won't go into further details about Rachel's wonderful zines. My advice: Discover them for yourself. They are the most artistic zines I've read in ages and am very grateful she sent them. Send $2 per issue to Rachel Lee-Carman 501 NW Newport Ave 1/2 Bend Oregon 97701.

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