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The Sun Interview

The Prayer Of The Body III

An Interview With Stephen R. Schwartz

Inside our loneliness is a longing to be released from the pain of separation and the confusion it entails. We’ve all been taught that there is something wrong or even dangerous about being lonely. But such an assumption is based on a misunderstanding of what loneliness is and how it relates to our life here. Loneliness is a kind of wisdom, a recognition of something, an urge toward genuine transformation.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Summer Of Mowing Lawns

I miss Herbert Robertson. He was my neighbor. I don’t talk much with my other neighbors: the alcoholic man and his fat wife across the street. Or the reborn Christians next to them. The young couple I never see, even though they live so close I can hear them cough at night. The divorced bachelors who sit every summer night on their front porch in cracked vinyl easy chairs with the filling popping out the sides, drinking beer and smoking until after dark, the lit ends of their cigarettes like fireflies.

Every Grain Of Sand

My mother told me that as a child I would occasionally steal into my older brother’s room and vandalize some architectural project he had spent weeks working on in his uncommonly meticulous fashion.

Listening To My Father

It was hard taking my father to the public pool. It had wheelchair access, but he wasn’t in a wheelchair yet. Still, the ramp made it easier for him to shuffle up to the building and into the locker room, where he would sit and let me undress him.

The Prayer Of The Body

The Work Of Stephen R. Schwartz

I’d been melancholy for weeks, dogged by feelings I couldn’t name. Then my wife went out of town; I didn’t want her to go.

You might say I was ready for a good cry. Yet how tempting to ignore sorrow, as if it were a beggar. Those dark, accusing eyes.

The Prayer Of The Body II

Compassionate Self-Care

Compassionate self-care is a path of kindness and respect for ourselves. It offers a way of relating to our internal experience which is not pushed, coerced, or manipulated. In this path there are no categorical labels, no demands, no success or failure. There isn’t anything to achieve, get to, or make. No ideal state of consciousness is proposed which is any better than the one we find ourselves in right now. We allow ourselves to feel just what we are feeling, to breathe consciously, and to stay attentive to the body. We don’t let ourselves become confused by thoughts which suggest to us what our feelings mean.


Meet Mr. Fist

The first time I did it was on State Street. I walked right up to some guy I’d never seen before — he was wearing a raincoat, as I recall — and I punched him in the face.


Driving home from work, Bones rehearsed what he’d say when he broke up with Linda. “I got to get out,” he might say. Or, “I’m no good for you.”

Readers Write


I went to LA. to visit my daughter Sue. I started to make a cup of tea. “Don’t use the water from the faucet, Ma,” she said. “It tastes terrible.”

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


“We live with one another on a rare life-sustaining planet as it makes a few dozen turns around its modest and finite star. The real news on this planet is love — why it exists, where it came from, and where it’s going. How love fares against hate and indifference is the only reliable measure of historical progress that we have.”

Gil Bailie

More Quotations ▸
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