Editor's Note: Stand in the Rain


Dear Noctules:

Quarantine is not really a new experience for me.


I remember staring out the window of the 7th floor of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City during a terrible storm. The windows were shaking, and the rain was rolling across the glass in waves. I was in my hospital bed. Not totally unusual. But that night, I was looking out into the dark, BAWLING. Why? Well, because I really like the rain ... but I couldn't go outside. I love touching the rain, standing in it, playing in it, walking in it. I hadn't been able to do any of that for a very long time. When you have a bone marrow transplant, you're quarantined to a single floor—often for months. This was my fourth lengthy hospital stay of 2019. When you're a transplant recipient, even your closest family and friends have to wear personal protective gear when they come to visit you; they are told to sit on the opposite end of the room.


See we, the cancerous, were wearing masks and social distancing before COVID brought the world to its knees.


Still somehow, on October 23rd of this year, I turned 26. I'm really glad to be here, mostly because there was a time when I didn't know if I would be. In 2018, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia; I'll spare you the details. I've recently published an article in the Huffpost with related info if you'd like to read into the matter.


I decided to include this anecdote in this month's editor's note because I am perpetually trying to remind myself to remain grateful, despite the collective sense of isolation and unease being experienced by all of us at this moment in history. These days, I tend to brush off the storms that I love because they are numerous. I complain when I'm caught in the rain at inconvenient times or without an umbrella. I have already survived and so, I've become complacent in believing that there will always be another storm to stand in. The truth is that our storms are gifts, and they are not guaranteed. It's a continuous process, but I hope that I'll never forget what a privilege it is to be able to stand in the rain. So, yay 26. Thanks for still being here with me. Gazes upward, always.

J.D.

FDBONES is a graphic designer based in Romania. His works are related to dark art, transposed as an engraving style. Through his work, he seeks to spread positive messages and relay commentary on social phenomenon; There is always beauty and grace in the macabre. His work can be found on Instagram @fdbones_