Editors’ Note

Issue 24: A long-form special issue.

Like many cephalopods, octopuses have three hearts. Two pump blood through its gills, and a third pumps blood through its body to its organs. The hearts reportedly stop when the octopus swims. And because its blood uses hemocyanin to move oxygen rather than hemoglobin (like our blood uses), its blood is blue.

And … that’s about all I have to say about the octopus circulatory system. I’ve tried to come up with a way to expand these fascinating (and at least to me, awe-inspiring) facts into a bona fide article for The Behemoth. But I don’t have much more to say after noting those details. Some things are just too short for our “small magazine about a big God and his big world.”

And some things are too long. We regularly struggle with getting fascinating stories (especially about science) down to our ideal word counts.

This issue, we’re making an exception to our usual rules so that we can bring you Josh Jeter’s visit to Mount Athos. Travel writing—especially Christian travel writing—is one of my favorite genres. But it’s very rare to find new, beautiful examples of it, even given the Internet’s glut of “content.” We could have brought you just an anecdote or two from his journey, but frankly, we enjoyed the whole thing. The best travel writing, like the best travels themselves, takes time and space to explore. This piece explores not only the world of and around Mount Athos, but how God’s highest creation strives in a variety of ways (from Orthodox to Protestant) to grasp who God is and how he calls us to live.

Since we’re a young magazine, we’re eager to experiment by devoting almost the entire issue to one story. Let us know what you think at editor@behemothmag.com. Or just enjoy this issue as you prepare for your own summer travels.

— Ted Olsen, co-editor

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Also in this Issue

Issue 24 / June 11, 2015
  1. To the Holy Mountain

    A Protestant’s journey among the monks of Mount Athos. /

  2. ‘We Don’t Really Do the Retreat Thing Here’

    To the Holy Mountain, chapter two. /

  3. Hermit Hospitality

    To the Holy Mountain, chapter three. /

  4. Overflowing with Love

    To the Holy Mountain, chapter four. /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 24: Links to amazing stuff /

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