Editor’s Note

It is an oft quoted adage that love requires sacrifice – always. To make a sacrifice means giving up something valuable you have for the sake of something considered more valuable – be it love or a potential checkmate. I would argue, however, that compromise – the act of giving up a desirable prospect to preserve what you already have – is the ever-present shadow of love. Further, making compromises is far more selfless than making sacrifices; I know what I give up when I make a sacrifice, but to make a compromise entails foregoing the possibility of something that may lead to even greater happiness to maintain an already existing situation. Perhaps true love, however, requires both sacrifice and compromise. And perhaps we sacrifice too much time trying to analyse love.

There can be no doubt that the stories in this issue of Questions, however, explore sacrifice in a myriad of forms. In Samantha Noble’s Familiar, a painter encounters a stranger by her favourite lake; it’s only later that we learn that this meeting was not coincidental and the sacrifices the stranger has made. In Raising Fred, the protagonist sacrifices her rustic lifestyle and the companionship of her eccentric great aunt for the ‘Big Smoke’, was it worth the cost? In Eamon Shanahan’s The Blight, we travel back the Great Famine in 1848, where a man makes one of the greatest sacrifices possible in the face of overwhelming despair. Finally, Gavin Scott’s prize winning non-fiction piece Side by Side compassionately examines masculinity in its variegated forms, and offers perspective on which aspects of masculinity should be sacrificed, and which should be embraced.

I hope that you enjoy reading this issue of Questions, and that it provides some food for thought on what you are willing to sacrifice for your own pursuits, and what, perhaps, you are willing to compromise.

Samuel Zifchak