Origins

by Joseph Murphy
The concept of “origins” can take on very different meanings, depending on one’s point of view.

The word itself comes from the Old French word origine, which like many words in Romance languages, is derived from the Latin, originem, which pertains to one’s descent or lineage.

As it was in the classical era, today’s use of the word often relates to one’s personal origin. For me, that meant gaining some insight on how my Irish and Italian forbears came to America.

Like the varied circumstances that shaped our ancestor’s lives, the origin of a poem or story likely comes from the culmination of a number of events that have coalesced, rather than from a isolated starting point.

More often than not, the resultant work veers from its original concept, leading the author and reader through uncharted and imaginative territory.

The word imagination, without which there would be no art or philosophy — or for that matter a future — comes from the Latin imago, “to picture oneself.”

We hope that this edition will allow you to navigate meaningfully though the imaginations of our writers, picturing parts of your lives in their work and, perhaps, better understanding their origin.
Joseph Murphy is a senior editor at Halfway Down the Stairs. For staff biographies, click here.

© 2016, Joseph Murphy