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Reminders, wishes and honest prayers in perzine ‘Living Not Existing #4’

Living Not Existing #4

Perzine, Faith, 24 pgs, $3

Honesty can be so very trying. In Living Not Existing, Faith expresses a will to be open and honest with themself and with others. This desire is enacted in Faith’s content, which is startling in its blunt, raw, and intimate vulnerability. Reading their zine is to bear witness to their will to recognize and express their truth, how they have “started to develop a deeper emotional relationship with [them]self.” You can see it all spilling out onto the page and you can sense Faith’s tenacity, as they try to hold themself accountable to their intentions.

There are palpable changes in the prose between the struggles and the victories. In their most confident moments, communing with the sacred, their prose flows in chain reactions, with repetitions, and revisions in their prayers, affirmations, chants, spells — call it what you will. Ritual lives in their words. Hope and intention live in their words. When Faith describes their doubts and fears, you can feel their prose quiver, but when they look toward the future, their determination is visceral and unwavering.

In a zine about growth, Faith’s words are pasted over an unchanging background of bare trees. They are not idly wishing and waiting for a rebirth, but willing it into being. They are dreaming of a time when they will be new and thriving, not merely surviving like trees in the wintertime: living not existing. Like their intentions toward honesty being played out in on the page, Faith envisions a time to come, as when they describe their motivation in changing their name: “My new name is a farewell to my past self and is in honour of my self to be.” I find myself repeating phrases like these to myself as reminders, wishes, honest prayers of my own.