Welcome to Dial 2!
It does not escape our notice that we launch this small, online arts and culture magazine in a time of considerable turmoil. We know something of the nature of this turmoil globally, manifest in war, poverty, and ecological destruction, and we feel this turmoil nationally, manifest in our various divisions and the eruptions and inflammations of violence that are an inevitable consequence thereof. We cannot speak to the personal, but assume that each of our readers brings a complex universe of experience and feeling to everything they will read here.
We launch this magazine in a spirit of hope, and with faith in the capacity of art and literature to humanize, vitalize, and affirm our being in the world. We have no ambition to create something loud and sensational; Dial 2 is a small, quiet online space of cultural communion, celebrating a diversity of aesthetics and artistic visions. Our decision to publish only one new piece of writing each month means that we believe each piece earns the real attention of its audience, not as something to scroll through or skim, as the online medium often encourages, but something to encounter meaningfully, to linger over.
It’s not a small thing, this act of attention; and in a period of such profound instability, it seems as though the impulse to create, to aspire, to explore and understand through art and culture may be one of Ariadne’s threads, leading us through and perhaps out of our various labyrinths. Or so we hope. But we do hope.
Thank you for visiting our magazine. We are grateful for your presence here.
And so with diligent hands and good intent we set down our Dial on the earth. We wish it may resemble that instrument in its celebrated happiness, that of measuring no hours but those of sunshine. Let it be one cheerful rational voice amidst the din of mourners and polemics. Or to abide by our chosen image, let it be such a Dial, not as the dead face of a clock, hardly even such as the Gnomon in a garden, but rather such a Dial as is the Garden itself, in whose leaves and flowers the suddenly awakened sleeper is instantly apprised not what part of dead time, but what state of life and growth is now arrived and arriving.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, The Dial, 1840