As we enter Ayin’s third year as a press, we are reflecting on how easy it is to destroy things with language. In order to fortify against such carelessness—available at our fingertips at all times—we are committed to creating a space whose very principle is creation—a space that tends towards complexity, that encourages poetic leaps into the unknown—all while resting on the horizon of Ayin (nothingness) from which everything emerges and to which everything returns.1
We wish for Ayin to be a space for testing the limits of storytelling, the limits of coherence—for training our eyes on the miracles that peek through our broken stories, broken families, broken promises, broken selves. May Ayin’s tent be a circus of liberation: a home for those unmoored from master narratives, a home for those who find, in the unraveling of our inherited paradigms, the very possibility of freedom. That is, a place for poets and for holy fools—because if, as it is said, the poet is a fool, then the fool must also be a kind of poet.
Both poets and holy fools tend to return to the same old place, the same old joke, the same old road, the same old form, the same old idea, the same old word—only to find that it was always—and forever is—new. And so, after publishing our second annual journal on The Holy Fool in May 2021, we found ourselves drawn back to this archetype: eternally rambling, slipping, and spinning through linguistic experiments, inexplicable riddles, and tireless attempts to weave something from the wreckage of sense that we all move through daily.
This folio—as with all of our work, and maybe all creative work—is a meditation on foolishness itself as a fundamental state and practice of creativity. May the holy foolishness of this folio be an invitation to you, dear reader—to create, against all odds, against hedging, and against reason—to create with wild hope, and to fail with relish; to let go of fairy tales, and to let more and more stories in—as radiant ephemera—always resisting final explanation—each story affixing itself—a star—to a wider and wider—albeit infinite—constellation.
- The Hebrew word Ayin, spelled with the letter Aleph, means nothingness: a concept with essential, Kabbalistic significance pointing to the essence of creation—the emergence of everything from nothing (and ultimately nothing from everything). Spelled with the letter Ayin, the word Ayin means eye, and also refers to a fountain or spring of water. Both words find their way back to creation.
Tom Haviv is the cofounder of Ayin Press, and the author of A Flag of No Nation, Woven, and The Porcupine Prince.