Editor's Note: Innocence

When I was younger I held my innocence close to my heart. I grasped it so tightly that anytime I began to veer from my own personal, twisted, concept I would be filled with unnecessary regret and guilt. This was when I lived within a balance of unhealthy black and white. As I grew older, my view of myself and my character began to exist more so in shades of grey and my concept innocence grew with me.

the innocent butt of a sweet innocent lover puppy - Nairobi Reign (new to me and my family)

the innocent butt of a sweet innocent lover puppy - Nairobi Reign (new to me and my family)

In the past few years, I have been able to realize that a person’s innocence never truly leaves them. It exists in moments and in the parts of your personality that are not always present to the greater public. Mine blossoms when I am with my friends and it shines when I try something new for the first time. Even as I gain knowledge and experience my innocence remains steadfast with me in a new dynamic form that helps me grow, instead of hindering me like it may have when I was younger.

Throughout this issue you will find a collection of works showing innocence for what it truly is: personal. With these 22 curated pieces of art, writing, photography, and video, innocence is dynamic — shifting as it is interpreted by each and every creative. I hope that in the ambiguity and beauty of each of these works you can see and identify glimpses of your own innocence like I did while going through the many submissions we had for this issue.

I want to thank first the many artists, writers, photographers, and creators that submitted to this issue. Whether your piece was included or not it was certainly appreciated. We would not be who we are today without your vulnerability so thank you so much. Next, I must thank the Berry Mag Board for helping in the selection process and establishment of this issue — I personally could not have done it without you. Lastly, I want to thank my mother for instilling a sense of ever-present innocence and exploration deep within my heart. It keeps me honest, excited, and growing and I am so thankful for that.

I believe this issue and the works included in it are truly amazing, strong, and even at times hard to read. Some will make you cry (as they did for me) and others may make you laugh, but overall I hope that by processing them you can learn something new about a person that you may have never met. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

With all of the love in my heart,

Trinity Lester