One of the things I most cherish about living in San Francisco (and the Bay Area, in general) is its relationship with nature. Golden Gate Park included, the city is filled with lush green spaces and gorgeous, smaller parks, and there are peaks and grassy hills to climb for those days when you feel the need to embrace the vastness of the land spread out before you, to remember what a damn treasure this place is. I don’t own a car, and so when I’m not jangling alongside other passengers on the bus, I’m often traveling by foot. I used to live in other cities where walking is common, but it’s of a different kind here; the blocks are longer, there are more slopes and curves, you experience the pull of your calves and hamstrings more. It feels like journeying. On days off, I’ll take long saunters from neighborhood to neighborhood, mostly by myself but sometimes with friends, and it’s nice, to be shrouded by trees and unconcerned with time. I live in the northwest corridor of the city, minutes from the beach and the cliffs that overlook the bay, and often when I need to think, that’s where I’ll end up, gazing out at the familiar orange of the bridge and the greenery of Marin County, listening to the waves crashing against the rocks and watching the fog roll in.
These are all things I think about now when I think about home. How we build homes physically, but also psychologically and emotionally. How we become attached to places because of the people we share them with, but also because of their proximity to the things we love or the things that are becoming pieces of us: hiking trails on the other side of the water, campgrounds, forests with thousands upon thousands of trees that catch light in ways that make us feel restored, wondrous, happy. The way the wind rustles the leaves. The way you can stare up at the stars through a tangle of branches. The way you can hear the foghorns at night.
In this same way, Midnight Breakfast has become its own kind of home. When we initially conceived of it, this is what we wanted: for it to feel like a familiar place, somewhere comfortable where people could return and find something that kept them reading. We wanted to be able to share the kind of work that was important and beautiful and inspired awe in us and in others. When we published Issue Zero back in February of last year, we knew we were taking a risk. We asked a few writers and illustrators we deeply admired if they’d take that risk with us, knowing it could be a one-off project, knowing we might not make it past a single issue. And now here we are, a year-and-a-half later, with Issue Twelve. Here we are, with a home we scraped together because of so many incredible people.
This special anniversary issue is dedicated to Jason Diamond, Matthew Salesses, Kima Jones, Benjamin Samuel, Eric Anthony Glover, Lauren O’Neal, and Callie Collins, for giving their words to Issue Zero; to Lara Odell, Lyndsey Lesh, Jason Novak, Nancy Smith, and Kristen Tomanocy, for giving their art; and to Jason, Matthew, Eric, Callie, Lara, Lyndsey, Jason, Nancy, Migueltzinta C. Solís, Gabrielle Moss, and Justin Volz, for going on another journey with us, and to Will Kanellos and Emily Bell, who gave us their time and are so welcome and appreciated for it. This issue is also dedicated to everyone who has ever said anything kind to us about the magazine. Your words, more than you know, have propelled us. We look forward to maintaining that momentum in the future.
And lest I grow overly sentimental: I’d like to personally thank the entire Midnight Breakfast team—Nevan, Taylor, Lauren, Ashley, and Maggie—without whom none of this would have stayed afloat. Thank you for rigging up all the sails, firmly tying those knots, and making sure we didn’t capsize. Ever.