The Art of Distance No. 39


The Art of Distance

Adolf Kaufmann, Sonnenuntergang in Winterlandschaft (Sunset in Winter Landscape), n.d., oil on canvas, 29 x 39 1/4″. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Happy New Year! This note is both a hello and a goodbye, in some manner. After an eventful nine months of The Art of Distance—thirty-nine installments, to be exact—we’ve decided to retire this Monday fixture. That’s not because we’re not still socially distanced (we are, and are still working from bedroom desks and dining room tables), or because we’re ready to show the lower halves of our faces in public (we’re not, and are still masked and glad, at least, for the winter windscreen), but because while we’ve had a good run, we are eager to try some new things in this new year. The Art of Distance was always meant to be a temporary endeavor, and we are grateful that it could offer a literary context—as well as some inspiration, some entertainment, and some comfort—to readers around the globe through a tumultuous time.

We are still fine-tuning some exciting new features, but for those who have an Art of Distance–size hole in their inboxes, I have a few recommendations:

  • For treasures from the vault, subscribe to the Redux, which unlocks pieces from the magazine archive every Sunday.
  • Need some poems? We have a daily email for that.
  • Sign up for the Weekly to get a digest of the best of the Daily, delivered every Friday.
  • And don’t forget Announcements! You’ll be the first to hear about new issues, special events, and more.

And because I can’t quite let go of thinking of a literary context for our week ahead, I’ll leave you with a Cynthia Cruz poem, “January,” which appeared in the Spring 2004 issue:

A California of snow and the surprise
Of illness. I throned myself in the white
Noise of its silence and watched as the world
Fell away. All the silver flickerings of possibility
Going out like the sound of horse hooves
Clicking into the distance. It is almost the end
Of the world. Anesthesia of medicine, and me,
Beneath its warm bell of milk. My girlhood was
Microscopic: a locked window overlooking the
Sea. An atlas of the disaster: an unlit hall and
A shift in the waves of the field. Blue bedside
Porcelain. Michelle, my little sister, silent as
A weed. I took all the things I loved and
Smashed them one by one.

Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading with us. Please keep in touch!

—Emily Nemens, Editor