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    illustration of a nautilus shell

    Covering the Cover: What Are Families For?

    By Rosalind Stevenson

    November 16, 2020

    There are two questions at the heart of this issue of Plough: What are families, and what are they for? In choosing the cover artwork, Shell Spiral by Yulia Brodskaya, we picked up on the image of the nautilus shell, its natural spiraling form bringing to mind the centered family with ever-expanding circles that reach out and encompass others who would otherwise be isolated – the single, the older generations, the lonely neighbor. Looked at another way, the offshoots suggest the budding next generation as new families are formed, and the spiral toward the center of origin points us to our ancestors.

    Find more of Yulia’s art, and watch her paper quilling technique, here:

    Plough Quarterly Issue 26

    Carolyn Olson’s piece, CNA Essential Worker Portrait #26, 2020, graces the back cover.

    a family outside a nursing home, waving to their grandmother

    Used with permission

    There’s no vocabulary
    For love within a family, love that’s lived in
    But not looked at, love within the light of which
    All else is seen, the love within which
    All other love finds speech.
    This love is silent.

    T. S. Eliot, The Elder Statesman, 1958

    Contributed By RosalindStevenson2 Rosalind Stevenson

    Rosalind Stevenson is the magazine designer for Plough. She lives at Fox Hill Bruderhof in Walden, New York.

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