And all at once it came to me and I wrote and hunched ‘til four-thirty
But that vestal light, it burns out with the night
In spite of all the time that we spend on it, on one bedraggled ghost of a sonnet
While outside the wild boars root, without bending a bough underfoot
Oh, it breaks my heart, I don’t know how they do it
So don’t ask me!
–Joanna Newsom, “Inflammatory Writ”
Writing is the art of telling a story. A good story has a moral and the best stories make it difficult to sleep at night. A storyteller must challenge her readers and the best storytellers have a strong voice. You can find stories everywhere, in school, in newspapers and in governments. Right now you’re holding several stories in your hands.
The tricky thing about stories is that they can change over time. This journal reflects the changing story of the Jewish community in UC Santa Cruz. For Leviathan, one place these changes emerge is in a predicament specific to a Jewish journal: because Jewish identity is often connected to religion, the word “G-d” is inevitably fixed in our printed psyche. Some of our writers choose not to include the “o,” while others prefer to spell out the word in its entirety. This year we decided to leave the decision up to the discretion of the individual writer. Like stories, we believe that Jewish identity can change over time, and so it is in Leviathan that the art of telling stories and the changes of the Jewish community intersect.
In this issue, the LeviaCrew tell their own stories and in the process I have witnessed them each experience an internal revolution. What started out as a simple string of words and thoughts quickly transformed into a kind of therapeutic journalism. As you read this issue, you’ll find the next legion of storytellers boldly marching into ha’shana haba’ah, the coming year.
Published on page 7 of the Fall 2011 issue of Leviathan.