May 1990

Readers Write

Giving Up

A state of grace, a change in attitude, sainthood

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

May 1990

From My Notebook

The day with its big arms around me, whispering in my ear.

By Sy Safransky
Quotations

Sunbeams

Heaven and Hell are in the present moment, and we are either in Heaven or Hell as we live out our lives each day.

Charles Scot Giles

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

On Seeing A Sex Surrogate

In 1983, I wrote an article about sex and disabled people. In interviewing sexually active men and women, I felt removed, as though I were an anthropologist interviewing headhunters while endeavoring to maintain the value-neutral stance of a social scientist. Being disabled myself, but also being a virgin, I envied these people ferociously. It took me years to discover that what separated me from them was fear — fear of others, fear of making decisions, fear of my own sexuality, and a surpassing dread of my parents. Even though I no longer lived with them, I continued to live with a sense of their unrelenting presence, and their disapproval of sexuality in general, mine in particular. In my imagination, they seemed to have an uncanny ability to know what I was thinking, and were eager to punish me for any malfeasance.

By Mark O’Brien
Fiction

The White Guitar

In fourth grade, after the bra-and-girdle notebook affair, we all fell in love with Julia Harris. By “we” I mean the foreign boys in Madame Bouvet’s class, and also Pascal Fourtané, the only French boy we foreigners hung out with.

By Robin Green
Fiction

A Cat Story

Andy was already twelve when I met him. He lived at our local dharma study group center, where we talked about impermanence, suffering, enlightenment, compassion, old age, death, the meaning of self, and in what sense the mind could be said to continue beyond death.

By Stephen T. Butterfield
Fiction

Most Likely To Succeed

At home in Montgomery, Wanda’s azaleas are in full bloom, the whole front of the house covered in a profusion of lavender, pink, and fuchsia blossoms. Up here on Cape Cod, it is April and still there is frost on the windowpanes.Wanda’s daughter-in-law tries to fool everyone into believing it’s spring with the forsythia.

By Candace Perry
Fiction

A Day In The Life At Paradise

This is how it began. We stood in the parking lot under the hot sun looking at one another. “It’s a job for a couple,” he said. “The advertisement said for a couple.” I shrugged and waited, not having anything else to do. He told me about the hours and the pay and asked me if I had ever worked a motel before. I told him no and by the end of the week I was the manager at Paradise. That is how it began.

By Jaimes Alsop
Poetry

Delicious Laughter

Rambunctious Teaching Stories Of Rumi

Jalaluddin Rumi — Translated By Coleman Barks