Letter from the Editors
art by Sonali Bhasin
If anything in the world can be said to be constant, it is cycles. Spring rains quicken earth that frosts over come winter, only to thaw again when the sun’s tenancy once more grows long. Revolutionary parties oust corrupt regimes only to founder, fester, and receive their desserts anon. From dust we come and unto dust return. The world entire, physical and immaterial, seems to answer to Newton’s maxim that all actions have their foils, reciprocating and even reversing their work.
Like all things, Encircl.net has come full circle. It’s been a full year since we released our first issue, entitled “The Whale.” We thought it only fitting to head off the second year with a theme that reflects on a year’s work and on the mission outlaid a year now past. Thus, “Orbits.” In “Orbits,” we have not only reminder of the cyclicity of nature, but also of its interconnectedness. Like the celestial articles populating our cosmos, from the greatest giant to the teensiest mote, our own destinies are intermeshed with our cohabitants of Earth. We do not go the world alone. No – though perhaps we humans command the greatest gravity, we are subject nonetheless to the influences of others, the same as they to us. It is this give and take, this interplay, that makes the solar system what it is, and it is the same interplay that makes our green world what it is.
We have seen this place before. It is only a year ago today that we knew this place, and a year hence until we will know it again. The Earth traces and retraces and retraces its path, in mock revision. And yet the Sun’s stocks burn, and energy dissipates irrevocably into the blank, black expanses of space. If we ever need reminder that in some things there is directionality, we need only look to the Sun, and remember that our days on Earth are numbered, if by nothing else than the inexorable counter in the sky. And though we may never know whither we go, we do go, and go without fail.
Perhaps it is true that some things never change. And perhaps it is true that not all change is for the better. But it is true nonetheless, perhaps in answerance to the same Newtonian maxim, that progress is done. Action wreaks consequence. Too often, constancy breeds complacency. But lest we be discouraged, let us remember that once, civil rights were a privilege of the few. Let us remember that long life was sixty years, that disease of a kind was the norm, and not the exception. Let us remember that industry and rapacious growth once went entirely unchecked.
There is light yet ahead, and there is work we needs do to reach it. Let us thank providence, or serendipity, for placing the Sun in our sights, to remind us of what ever lies beyond.