Issue 148 | The Sun Magazine

March 1988

Readers Write

First Memory

Feeling safe in a father’s arms, sighting a lost yo-yo in the lake, being on Mars

By Our Readers


The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

William James

The Sun Interview

Altered States

An Interview On Shamanism With Leslie Gray

I teach shamanic techniques which enable clients to have access to parts of their consciousness that they ordinarily can’t reach, and that’s what does the healing. I show them how to journey, and how to find a power animal or guardian spirit so that they can develop a relationship with these entities to empower themselves. Then they can do whatever they want to do: lose weight, work on a stuck relationship, heal their dispiritedness or negativity.

By D. Patrick Miller
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On Being Unable To Breathe

Something was drastically wrong with my lungs: every night, they made sounds like a basketful of squealing kittens. I was always coughing, had pains under the sternum, and could not push a car or even run up a flight of stairs without gasping like an old melodeon full of holes.

By Stephen T. Butterfield
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

From A Distance, Paradise

The children grew rapidly after birth, until they were weaned from the breast, and then never grew again. We never saw any cases of diaper rash because nobody could afford diapers. I had never before thought of diaper rash as a disease of affluence.

By Morris Earle, Jr.
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Child In The City

The horror and melancholy of childhood are what stand out. I can no longer remember most of it explicitly. I cannot even swear that the haunting happened in this lifetime. The so-called moment of trauma has vanished into the darkness of existence itself.

By Richard Grossinger


“I only wish I could be so young and carefree,” your father says when he comes home from work. He doesn’t remember what it’s like. The pressure, the decisions.

By Deborah Shouse

A Little Irish Water Music

Occasionally, when Dad belted up his trousers with twine, she turned as brittle as snapbread, but in those early years, she was usually willing to dismiss our days as the pruning from which decorous bloom must one day erupt.

By Katherine Vaz