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Editor's Letter: Memorial Day/June 2014

I’m an Instaidiot. I get lost in my handheld, chasing a Wi-Fi high.

I’m more likely to “like” a photo than “return” a call. You know what I’m talking about—we desire to do more in less time. The irony is that the dozens of emails back and forth take up more precious time than just picking up the phone. Why are we drawn to this illusion of intimacy, divorced from a noisier, richer life? Is frictionless life just more appealing?

In that vein, we asked Arianna Huffington, one of the major dealers to digital addicts like us, to shed some light on the subject. In “Arianna, Unplugged” in this issue, she pens an ingenious satire on the paradox of device obsession, and how to take a break from it.

Fortunately, my three kids always drag me back into life. I write this on Mother’s Day, breathless, as I hide in my bedroom to escape a second round of trampoline jumping, with “Mom-meeee!” echoing in intervals from my little jumpers.

Meanwhile, my husband is hiding elsewhere, engaged in digital warfare with his million-plus Twitter followers/cyber savages—neither of us wants to infect our kids with our hyper work-at-home dynamic.

At this point in my letter, my New Yorker cynicism informs me that everything’s been said (yet I keep writing). While I was jumping, I happened to notice the hedgerows have blossomed since last weekend. Why is this significant? When I’m home in Southampton, I feel tethered to this place, to its natural extremities; and I’m so thankful for them. I’m reminded of the best of what’s been said—and that was by Sagaponack author Peter Matthiessen, who passed away last month. In The Snow Leopard, he wrote: “I walk lighter, stumble less, with more spring in leg and lung, keeping my center of gravity deep in the belly, and letting that center ‘see.’” 

This place will do that to you.

In this month’s Fictionist installment, environmentalist Alex Matthiessen writes about his father’s physical and spiritual journey to preserve and protect our good Earth: “Remember that the natural world around us is inherently beautiful and bountiful and will help liberate us,” he writes, preceeding the excerpt of his father’s last book, In Paradise. Like father, like son.

Beyond the natural wonders here, the people who’ve migrated—or, better yet, immigrated—to it are marvels in their own right. Hence our dubbing this our Foreign Affairs Issue, with the goal of introducing you to some amazing international individuals who’ve relocated to and enriched our East End (my own father was one of the first Germans to come to the Hamptons, and my mother was one of the first Brazilians).

There’s so much in which to indulge out here this summer (I long to get lost at the beach with my little ones); we hope to have captured a sliver of this richness of offerings in this, our first issue of the season.

Jump in.

P.S.: Follow me on Instagram and Twitter, @cristinacuomo!