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The Sun Interview

Living With The Dying

An Interview With Frank Ostaseski

Frank Ostaseski is a tall, slim man with blue eyes that radiate calm. As director of the San Francisco Zen Center’s Hospice Program, he counsels the dying and their families, and teaches others to care for people with terminal illness.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Blue Shoes

We sat in the sun, me naked and soaking it up, Lorenne in long sleeves and with a straw hat keeping all ultra-vioiet rays from her sensitive face. She pointed at my bushy crotch and said, “You lose all the hair down there, you know. You look like a little girl again.” She said it incredulously, as though she could hardly believe it even though it had actually happened to her. “I’m so surprised when I look in the mirror,” she said, examining the crepe skin and prominent veins on the back of her hand. “It’s the damnedest thing. Inside, I don’t really feel any different from the person I was at sixteen.”

Radical Steps

My father was no cartoon drunk. He never passed out on the couch or lost his job or went to jail. He sang me nursery rhymes and taught me to read when I was small, and when people came to dinner, he wore a nice tweed jacket and held the women’s coats for them. I loved him so much I thought they ought to make him a movie star.


Living In Lotus

Ever since the therapist said, “Rebecca, if only you’d let go once in a while, relax, flow, you’d be a lot happier,” I’d been trying to write in the lotus position. Which meant wearing my daughter Courtney’s old sweat pants. Which meant crossing my legs on the edge of the black swirly chair Peter left behind two years ago when he trekked off into the Colorado wilderness, holding only a backpack, a lantern, and the over-manicured hand of Dellie Rhodes.

Two Stories By V. Myagkov

The old man had walked a long way, from afar, and he was not well. He wiped his forehead and raised his head. Around him were sand, thistles, and strangely — where did it come from? — a house.

Caleb’s Journal

I aim to do two things. To tell a certain story, and to please myself. To lay down words, neat as the logs in a fireplace.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write

Love Stories

For two years we moved around each other in the same social circle, just outside of reach. It’s true, I was intrigued by this man who rejected all my overtures of friendship, my invitations to join my inner circle. I was thirty-one, married ten years, with two kids. I had no idea that I had never fallen in love. If I thought about it at all, I suppose I consigned the notion of falling in love to B-movies and romance magazines, teenagers, and women who paint their toenails pink.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which mangles me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

Jorge Luis Borges

More Quotations ▸
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