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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Few Lessons They Won’t Forget

The Disgrace Of Modern Schooling

While teaching means different things in different places, seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills. They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is. I intend no irony here. These are the things I teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.

Of Lineage And Love

When he was old, I tried to introduce him to the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness; I thought it would ease any anxiety he might be having about the imminence of death. “Ultimately,” I began, “you never were.” “Maybe not,” he said, peering over the rim of his glasses, “but I made a hell of a splash where I should have been.”

Home Is Where

Having once lived for a year in a van, I knew what the real luxuries were: a bed to sleep on, a light to read by, a roof to keep me dry. I liked beautiful things, but I understood the difference between living elegantly and living expensively.

Fiction

The Hardest Of Hands

I see her push away the dinner plate slowly, with the same painstaking attention she uses to hide the letters from her father. She zealously guards his reputation; if I threaten it, she throws a rope around my neck and pulls.

Sonderkommando

“The Holocaust is boring, honey. I lost it with that last Louis Malle film. It’s as old as platform shoes. They trivialize it.” Carla isn’t Jewish. “You oppress yourself, honey.” I nodded.

Beating Off In Mexico

It bothers me to age; I won’t deny that. I am bothered by what time does to my notions of invincibility. I am not bothered by the inability to remember — but by the inability to forget.

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Birthdays

A waxed floor, a box of chocolates, a first bra

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Quotations

Sunbeams

How many times have you tried to shield yourself by reading the newspaper, watching television, or just spacing out? That is the $64,000 question: how much have you connected with yourself at all in your whole life?

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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