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The Sun Interview

A Better Game Than War

An Interview With Robert Fuller

I was running around the track one sunny day, and I saw right behind me, connected to my own feet, my shadow. No matter how fast I ran, my shadow kept up with me, and it occurred to me that this was the metaphor for the arms race — a race with one’s own shadow. No matter how fast you go, the other guy’s going to keep up with you and stay connected with you; in fact, he’s a part of you. He is the projection of yourself — of your dark side — just as your shadow is the sun’s projection of your body on the ground. No one will win the arms race, nor will anyone drop out. We can never out-distance the fear of those parts of ourselves that we have projected on others: Americans on Russians, Jews on Arabs, Protestants on Catholics, whites on blacks. Making the bomb the issue and disarmament the goal shields us only briefly from the realization that it is we ourselves — we human beings — that are the source of the danger.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Through The Eyes Of A Citizen Diplomat

Stepping onto Soviet soil for the first time, I was shocked by the diversity of everything. I somehow expected a monolithic visual impression. Color, especially, was fascinating. Not that I would have expected there to be fewer frequencies of the spectrum in the Soviet Union than anywhere else, but most of the pictures I had seen of that country were black and white photographs, especially from World War II. So I was surprised by things as obvious as blue sky, red and purple flowers, and colorful clothing, as well as by the beautiful pastel buildings.

How Peace Was Discovered

When we look back twenty-five years on the world of the 1980s, it is with a combination of great relief and even greater bewilderment. We are, of course, relieved that the unthinkable global nuclear holocaust did not occur, but amazed that matters were ever allowed to come to such a pass. Here was the entire human race — never more advanced in scientific knowledge and achievement — teetering on the brink of self-annihilation, and daily adding to the means by which annihilation might come about. It is a horrifying memory. But since our transition from that precarious state of affairs is still very much in progress it is useful to look back occasionally, so that the destructive passions that led to that dark hour of history only a quarter of a century ago may never again dominate human hearts.

On Being A Wonderful Father

At 11 :30 p.m. on a pitch black night, I was in a small cabin overlooking Frenchman’s Bay on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The cabin was along a road where there were other houses, but it was at the bottom of a long driveway — really just a path hacked through the woods — and was extremely isolated. There was no telephone, no television, and the radio picked up only a single insipid “top forty” station. From the living room, where he slept on a daybed, my twelve-year-old son said goodnight and turned off his lamp. I noticed how quiet it was, the only sound an occasional breeze blowing through the trees. I was feeling a vague unease, a slight tension all over my body, but ignored it to continue reading. After half an hour, I put down my book, turned off the light, and stared toward the ceiling into the darkness and the quiet.

Fiction

Heritage Clay

She sensed Julian come in, but remembering the party at the officers’ club, remembering too that for the first time in their long marriage he had gone into the guest room and shut the door (he was not one to slam), she did not speak or get up. She was lying at the base of a revolving stand — the north light of her studio clear and bright — looking up at a working model of her statue and assessing the bulk of the woman’s heavy socks. On the wall behind her hung one red wool sock. Her plaster model of a woman running wore the other.

Two Stories

I spend a lot of time thinking up improvements on God. When Frank thinks I’m busy typing letters, I’m actually preparing my list. Frank is my boss, the pastor of a large church. He is rotund, and endlessly talkative. A week ago he came and stood in front of my desk and told me how when he was fifteen he had heard God’s voice call his name while he was running in a forest and he had answered and the ensuing conversation had brought him to the very spot where he stood. Actually, I had wondered why he was standing there in front of me, and although the story did not adequately answer my question, it was all very intriguing. Then Frank went back to the inner office and I continued my list.

Readers Write

Broken Promises

I was seven when my sitter’s feisty dog chewed up my favorite doll. I waited, for years, for her to fulfill her promise of a new doll to replace it. About the same time the doll was destroyed, my mother promised that she would soon be able to give me an allowance of five dollars a week. I was thrilled.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.

Goethe

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