Editors’ Note – Sacred Words

What do we talk about when we talk about the sacred? It’s a deceptively simple question.  For much of human history, our culture, our religion, our leaders taught us what was to be considered sacred.  But in these, our post- modern times, it is sometimes difficult to consider the concept without a sense of irony.

It is not surprising that those who deal in language, writers and poets, struggle with the notion of the sacred. As we read the work submitted for this issue, we observed how the desire to name and elevate the sacred is often shadowed by skepticism and doubt.  Yet at the same time, the impulse to seek out, define and set apart that which we deem sacred seems to be a universal human need, a necessary means of bestowing significance in the midst of an uncaring universe.

The writings in this issue are an exploration of what we choose to call sacred; a place, a time, a thought, a word, a name, an experience.  They are about how something is taken into the realm of the sacred, and how that same thing can be rejected, abandoned and dethroned.

What is sacred? Nothing is sacred. Except for that which takes on, for a moment or for millennia, the power to evoke a meaning beyond mere presence.