I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Hal Richman was first published in The Sun in June 1974. He lives in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.
This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages.
What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.
Though we haven’t devoted the whole issue to the anniversary, we have allowed the section to grow beyond our original plans. After seeing the pieces, we felt that our readers would enjoy them as much as we did — for the information about the magazine’s history, for the glimpses into the writers’ lives, and (not least) for the quality of the writing.
Heating with wood has become popular as an inexpensive, safe, and personally satisfying way of staying warm. Many people appreciate being able to keep their houses toasty without relying on the utility company or oil industry. Heating with wood brings us down to our roots — taking wood from the earth, gathering and storing it with our family and friends, sitting around a fire on a cold night.
Coy Armstrong moved to Cane Creek from Wilkes County in 1922, when he was eight years old. He has walked his land thousands of times, and probably knows Cane Creek better than anyone.
Are you a Briar? Well, you might be if you try to live simply, share resources and skills with others, and practice right livelihood rather than grasp for fame and riches.
Food coops became popular during the past decade as an alternative to supermarkets and retail natural food stores. What draws people to them are lower prices, democratic participation, friendly atmosphere, higher quality, and other factors. A number of books and articles have appeared extolling the virtues of coops, but very little of a critical nature has been written.
For me, business and livelihood means trying to pay my bills by doing what I enjoy doing and would probably do anyway, even if I had a more conventional job. A number of my friends are in the same boat — they do massage, cook, build houses, and throw pots.
Like many men, I’ve been changing. Making love has become preferable to fucking and sharing preferable to manipulating. I’m realizing that every time my penis gets hard it doesn’t need (nor does it have some instinctive right) to be inserted in a conveniently warm place. I take women more seriously and work with them quite well. At least I’ve learned how to keep my mouth shut at the right times, use the right lingo, go through the right motions.
Baking can be fun; many of us know this and many of us know this all too well. But baking can also be a way of being creative and producing nutritious food which can provide us with protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and trace minerals. Cookies and other baked goods don’t have to be junk foods; when eaten slowly and in moderation they can be an integral and wholesome part of a highly nutritional diet.
Ways to share. It’s the talk in Chapel Hill. There’s a collective sense of dissatisfaction with “life in the marketplace” — jobs, regular business, money economy, high prices — as well as discontent with the introverted attitude so many of us have toward sharing goods and services, not to mention ideas and love.
It’s very difficult for me to write about food — so many trips and so much worry, joy, and compulsion. My first impulse is to go into a Yiddish tragic-comedy about the whole thing, but not now. My second impulse is to go into a long talk about all the changes in my own feelings and habits surrounding food, but that doesn’t seem right either.
Quite frankly, I never really gave a second thought to any of this “spiritual” stuff until I was studying for my writtens and read some of the philosophy of quantum physics — it was very high and caused my third eye to open up for the first time. Was science really all that different from religion?