The Story

I first heard Selah in Elia Kazan’s 1955 masterpiece, East of Eden starring James Dean. The story parallels the old parable of Cain and Abel, and in Kazan's adaptation, Cal, the supposedly bad brother, ruins his father's refrigeration business venture by sliding large blocks of ice down a farm chute. All the ice melted, and as punishment, Cal’s father forced him and Aron, Cal’s brother, to sit at the dining room table and read the Bible. Adam chooses a portion of Psalms; he hands Cal the Bible, enormous and riddled with tears and notes in which Cal hunches over the book and begins to mumble verses. He reads Psalms 32:5 and quickly finished it with the word selah. Selah. His father suggests he reads a bit slower, and he does not have to announce the number of the verse. Cal goes on to read the next verse, starting off by announcing the number. Six. He mumbles again until he reaches the next verse. He ends his transgressions with a sharp Selah. “Seven,” he says, the tip of his tongue crawling behind his lower teeth. He continues, ending this verse with a triumphant SELAH. “Eight!” he yells. His father rises and slams his palms on the table. “You have no repentance!” Aron sits quietly, and Cal, sheepishly sits back in his chair.

I was taken aback. A word said with so much resistance and violence between Cal’s teeth, and yet it means something so peaceful and meditative. I had never heard that word before, not even in Bible study or Sunday school. It took a movie for me to fully understand the difficulty of that word. To pause and reflect. Rejoice and praise. Look to the Lord, and worship. As a religious word, it has more significance than I can fathom. As a piece of language, it is juxtaposed to the English language. Selah is Hebrew, and has never been properly translated in English. That is why its home is still in the King James Version English Bible. Selah: to pause and reflect.

I understood Selah to be more a virtue than a word. We, as artists and audiences, must look to art and reflect upon it. We cannot let art pass us by and glance at it in museums or scan over writing for class. We must invest ourselves and unwind our hesitations. We have to stop being bystanders and start understanding art as it is in front of us. We must use art as a catalyst for change and unity, and not use art to drive apart our communities. Selah means to rejoice and praise. We must take joy in our work, pride in ourselves, and understand that worldly pain is a universal concept. We cannot sit idly anymore, especially in these times. We have to use art as a product of thought and intellect, and not as a mindless excuse. We have to see as the artist sees it; we may judge and critique art, but we must understand and love it before we move forward.

We hope this magazine will allow our audience to take time from their days and lives to enjoy and understand artists and writers. We believe that we match art and writing with impeccable themes and language. We are very excited to see what our future issues hold in store for us. But for now, we must pause. Reflect. Return.  

 

 

Sarah Rolinski

Creative Director and Editor-In-Chief

 
 

Meet the Team


 
Sarah Rolinski   Creative Director and Co-Editor-In-Chief  Contact: srolinski@selah.xyz  A writer and artist, aspiring filmmaker stationed in southeast Louisiana. Loves Richard Yates and Ernest Hemingway. Enjoys true crime and studying art and culture from all walks of life. Studying film, art history, and political science.

Sarah Rolinski

Creative Director and Co-Editor-In-Chief

Contact: srolinski@selah.xyz

A writer and artist, aspiring filmmaker stationed in southeast Louisiana. Loves Richard Yates and Ernest Hemingway. Enjoys true crime and studying art and culture from all walks of life. Studying film, art history, and political science.

 
Holly Penta   Co-Editor-In-Chief, Network and Communications Director, and Director of Selah Youth  Contact: hpenta@selah.xyz

Holly Penta

Co-Editor-In-Chief, Network and Communications Director, and Director of Selah Youth

Contact: hpenta@selah.xyz

 
Macie Hebert   Writing and Music  Contact: macie.hebert7@yahoo.com

Macie Hebert

Writing and Music

Contact: macie.hebert7@yahoo.com

 
Nyima Sanneh   Networks and Communications  I currently live in Houston, Texas. I absolutely love to debate as well as play field hockey, and in the future, I hope to be have a degree in Biochemistry and ultimately become a lawyer!

Nyima Sanneh

Networks and Communications

I currently live in Houston, Texas. I absolutely love to debate as well as play field hockey, and in the future, I hope to be have a degree in Biochemistry and ultimately become a lawyer!

Abby O'Brien   Visual Art and Film  I'm an aspiring artist with a passion for most all kinds of art and expression. My favorite book is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and I've always loved comics, anime and Disney. I'm a sophomore in high school that loves to learn about people and cultures. I'm so happy to be working with the Selah team!

Abby O'Brien

Visual Art and Film

I'm an aspiring artist with a passion for most all kinds of art and expression. My favorite book is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and I've always loved comics, anime and Disney. I'm a sophomore in high school that loves to learn about people and cultures. I'm so happy to be working with the Selah team!

Ayushi Patel   Networks and Communications

Ayushi Patel

Networks and Communications