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we prayed for thunder to clear the air--Chrystos, Not Vanishing
"A country like this forces you to find your underground spring to survive," wrote the late South African-born writer Bessie Head. The epigrammatic words, quoted on the cover of her novel When Rain Clouds Gather (1968), refer to Head's adopted home of Botswana; but as is true with all fine writers, her specificity is a loose-fitting garment, a thing that may be worn across a multitude of boundaries.
Head's words are particularly propitious at a time like this. Above-ground, rain clouds have indeed gathered, and they are accompanied by a rising gale of reactionary forces. The certainties of fundamentalism, the exclusions of globalization, and the militarism of mindless markets push against us. The landscape, however, is too heavily seeded by courageous activism, groundbreaking scholarship, and protest fashioned into art to yield. Historically the thunderclap borne of such tensions portends transformative moments, periods of unprecedented creativity and insight. Revealed are numerous sites of the underground spring with its own inexorable will to rise. As the new editor of Meridians, I feel the responsibility--and excitement--of sustaining the journal's mission to be one of these sites.
I am fortunate to inherit the editorship of a journal whose boards--especially the …