There’s an “April is over” theme in this fall’s issue, a sense that what was can’t be again. The phrase comes from Fitzgerald’s story The Sensible Thing, in which a young man has to reckon the loss of his romantic ideal. Here, in J 14:2, there’s loss writ large: death and dying, injury and fatigue, theft. A young boy in Australia mourns for his brother, killed in an act of racial vengeance; a young woman, held prisoner in a Japanese camp, witnesses the brutal slaying of a fellow captive; two friends say weekly farewells to a dying co-worker in too-sunny California; a man dying of cancer goes missing on a Florida beach; minks slaughtered in Denmark; a whale gashed by a propeller in New England; a landmark burns in Scotland.
So many of the submissions we’ve received over the last year are marked by a sense of winding down, of exhaustion, a perception that even nature’s optimistic cycle has been broken. The next April, one of spring and sun, doesn’t seem to exist in this issue’s creative work or in the world. Perhaps it’s pandemic times—divisive, politicized—that have made hope seem indulgent. Perhaps future submissions will be touched with an April kiss, but as Fitzgerald says at the end of the story, “There are all kinds of love in the world but never the same love twice.”
Jeffrey Heiman, Adam Berlin
New York City