From the Editors
Gravity spins the wheel of the year faster toward these months at the bottom of the calendar: the slow arc of late summer moves rapidly into winter, and now, suddenly, we’re scrambling through the dark and the bridge connecting 15 West to the rest of campus feels more hostile than we remembered and shower water becomes excruciating on our thawing feet.
The erratic patterns of movement echo beyond the seasons. This year turns us over into a new decade, where there is mobility where there wasn’t before, from the international to the national to the construction on Angell Street. Accordingly, this issue’s contributors have grabbed ahold of the tangible, for stability, for perspective, for reflection, for balance in approaching times of flux: snow that becomes rain that becomes snow again. Vacated buildings that foster new ecosystems. Rocks that transform into stones, stones that transform into languages. Simple, honest garments that access centuries of history. The bones in our skin and the brain in our skulls. The smeared ink of a handwritten love letter. The maintenance of benevolent plants that grow in silence.
These are necessary and restorative reminders of the material around us, the substance of the institutions, the matter that carries our memories. Objects can carry auras that we use to access another realm or can function as talismans in uncertain times. A pack of tropical Skittles is only $1.25 at CVS, Splenda packets are free at most cafes.
And so we carry our collected objects and half-collected thoughts into the new season. Now, suddenly, we clutch our possessions tight into our bundled jackets, ducking headlong through the wind and frigid rain into the roaring 2020s; we cross over into a new decade in increments of evening meals and sleepy 1PMs and pockets of accumulated lint clumps that need to be cleaned out every so often.
On the other side, there is movement. Maybe there is clarity! There is probably more rain, and then much more rain, and then maybe no rain at all. There are people trying very hard to figure out how to continue. There is growth and reorder. There is release and there is re-lease. Here, the v.1 team has blossomed, welcoming new editors, experimenting with the digital platform, opting for more frequent installments to keep the exchanges aflow. We are, as always, dedicated to grabbing the stray thoughts that glide by, pinning them down, collecting, dissecting, and treasuring them.
The wheel slows as the momentum of a decade runs through. A moment’s rest. And then, before long, the wheel begins to turn again.
Bilal Ismail Ahmed
Irina V. Wang