This liminal stage we find ourselves in has been challenging. I will not understate it: we have gone from our isolated and comfortable little hobbit holes to unfamiliar, uncomfortable, in-person life. We have been bombarded—let me hear you introverts!—with new roommates who do human things like yawn and snore, new acquaintances who might make us so uncomfortable that we instinctively reach for the “camera off” button only to find that there is no more Zoom, teachers who expect us to come to class (fully dressed) on a Monday morning and the constant jibber-jabbering and nagging of our club and publication leaders (and yes, I include myself in this).This transition has been challenging for us all and yet we Stanfordians keep showing up and pushing through.
To the LQ staff, thank you for putting up with our work-in-progress schedule, our ever-changing meeting location and doing your very best to fill in the awkward silences. I am so thankful that I hear more voices in that room than my own—and what amazing and distinct voices you all have.
To my fellow Stanfordians and readers of this fine issue, please take solace in the fact that you are not alone in your discomfort. We all feel the growing and shrinking pains of re-socialization. Read and examine these pieces closely, and you will find companions in your feelings of displacement, longing, discomfort, separation, loneliness, instability, anticipation, and hope throughout the momentous task of reintegration.
To my artists, thank you for creating even as you were struggling with some of these feelings yourself. Thank you for putting them into words, phrases, images, sounds and stories. You offer not only companionship, but understanding to us all in this unique and tumultuous time. As I look at the beautiful work on this issue’s front cover by one of our own Leland Quarterly editors, Kristie, I am reminded of how often we think about getting from one point to another—one door to another—and yet we find ourselves on the stairs for the majority of our lives. We are constantly in transit, so focused on getting through the next door that we often forget to stop, assess our current well-being and attend to it. And so, in this time of transition, I urge you all to stop, observe, listen and take care of yourself, perhaps by cracking open this issue of the Leland Quarterly.