In a world rife with unpredictability, rituals can serve as a means of stabilization. They can help ground us, connect us, and give structure and purpose to an otherwise chaotic existence. However, rituals can also serve to define flawed behavior, and, when examined too closely, can be a threat to the very stability they’re meant to instill. We chose Ritual for the theme of our fourth issue to reckon with the parts of life that we once took for granted, the private and public realities that have shifted with our renewed perception after over a year of isolation and private reflection.
The work in this issue showcases all manner of ritualistic entrenchment. The ritual of relationships with family, friends, enemies, and faith. The thin line between deconstructing and reconstructing the self. The deep-seated observance (or fracturing) of societal norms, psychology, history, environments, and even reality. These pieces challenge us to consider their rituals’ impact, as well as that of their unraveling.
Unending thanks to our intrepid, unflinching contributors who laid bare their rituals with grit and grace. This issue’s incredible strength is all due to you.