“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
Editor’s Letter: Hours structure our days. Days become our months. Months congeal into our years.
In life, this constant churn of time is inevitable, though it does not always move at the same clip. There is an elasticity that feels unique to time’s passage, in how it can crunch forward heavy-footed or speed by in a blur. What we do in this lair of time ultimately matures as meaning about our priorities, how we square away our worlds, who we are. As Annie Dillard wrote, with alarming simplicity: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
The state a reader is in when they happen upon this magazine, whether in a frenzied frame of mind (“Time is of the essence!” the clock’s hand screams) or a mode of relaxation (“Oh, you have all the time in the world,” it coos), is unknowable for us, the crew of editors, writers, photographers, and designers who put each issue together while feeling the anxiety-inducing press of time as we tick closer to strict deadlines. But our underlining approach is always the same: not to waste a minute of anyone’s efforts. Time is a precious commodity (perhaps the most precious) and we’re well aware we must honor a reader’s rapt and warm attention with pages that aim to inform, challenge, and touch you.
For storytellers, the trappings of time have their benefits. Time can clarify what needs to be told and how to tell it. A writer who has only seven pages or seven days to realize an idea will negotiate these constraints with their narratives. One of the ways this expresses itself is in the scaffolding of the story. I’m often struck by how the structure of a piece of writing can also inform its content, its tenor and tone; how it can add a surprising texture to its subject. Writer Timothy A. Schuler’s feature on a platonic, generation-spanning romance, on page 76, is strung together as if told in bursts of consciousness, holding a mirror to how memory can play out when looking back on a life. Managing editor Lauren McNally holds a microscope to the millions of pieces of plastic that wash up on our shores, on page 56, oscillating between research on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and her personal trek to Hawai‘i Island to participate in a volunteer cleanup of one of Hawai‘i’s most plastic-polluted beaches. Organized in such a way on the page, this problem’s double consciousness, literally at our feet while also feeling out of reach, emphasizes the overwhelming toll the topic has on our collective psyche. The familial themes that emerge from stories about ancestral surfing knowledge passed on from grandfather to granddaughter and a century-old hotel maintained by the next generation of caretakers reminds us that time isn’t necessarily linear, that it circles back to where it originated.
The Time Issue also ushers in the 10th anniversary of Flux Hawaii. This milestone gave us a chance to collaborate with the title’s founder and former editor-in-chief, Lisa Yamada-Son, who thoughtfully steered the editorial tone and interests of this publication through all kinds of waters. She guest-edited a special section, which starts on page 113, that features reflections on how the islands’ cultural landscape has changed over the past decade. If you’re familiar with Flux, you might also notice creative director Ara Laylo modified the look and feel of the cover layout: the obsidian-esque foil on the masthead, the simplified text, and the alluring, full-bleed cover photo, artfully shot by Mark Kushimi. The intention is to draw you in, just as the magazine did when it appeared on the scene in 2010. To create a space that allows you to linger and engage. To contemplate where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re going. Time and again.
With aloha, Matthew Dekneef Editorial Director
Publisher’s Letter: Remember where you started…
Ten years ago, a recent college graduate named Lisa Yamada handed me a flyer outside of Aloha Tower. The flyer read “FLUX Hawaii Coming Soon.” She introduced herself to me and explained that she was starting her own local magazine, uninterested in joining any existing publishing houses or newspapers. Her hungry ambition reminded me of New Yorkers like myself, and so I volunteered to sell ads for her. Soon enough, Lisa and I became business partners, since my own newly formed brand, NMG Network (Nella Media Group, at the time), was in need of editorial direction for its stories of Hawai‘i.
Together, we hoped to create a dynamic vision for Flux and hoped to amplify modern and local voices in Hawai‘i on a global scale. There are art, culture, fashion, and social scenes here that are less seen by the rest of the world. Through our stories, we wanted to give visibility to local people and foster learning.
I’m honored to say the Flux brand continues to accomplish its vision. It has evolved from a beautiful print magazine to a multimedia platform also featuring breathtaking documentary videos, informative social media content, and global events. Lisa has moved on from NMG to build her family, but her vision and voice will always remain with the brand.
In this period of reflection, I am proud that while we’ve gained new channels and formats, our storytelling is the same. Flux is a brand that embraces the tides of change, but it will always dive into the vast ocean that is Hawai‘i’s voice.
Stay humble and always move forward, Jason Cutinella CEO / Publisher