Issue 216 | The Sun Magazine

December 1993

Readers Write

The Kitchen

An artist, a vanilla bean thief, a battered wife

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

December 1993

Bigger Than Words

Oh Freedom, I knelt at your feet but you said, Not now. So I threw myself at Love. Love said, Is it me you want, or Freedom?

By Sy Safransky


Christmas reminds us that it is not enough to bring God into our hearts. When God comes, God never comes alone. Jesus asks us to take in his strange friends, his dispossessed and uprooted children, his unpopular causes and projects.

Doris Donnelly

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Christmas In Seattle

I thought about the crackers and water in my room. Pride and weariness battled in my mind. How had it come to this? Just months ago I had been a well-paid, respected professional.

By Fred Hill
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Bitter Lessons

What’s Wrong With American Teachers

Lecturing age-grouped children in cellblock rooms of featureless buildings is a nightmarish way to teach. (And please don’t bring to mind images of slum schools; I’m thinking of wealthy, suburban schools.) What it does to teachers — not to mention students — isn’t pleasant to see.

By John Taylor Gatto
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


When we talked to school officials, we kept our argument simple: Oregon law says if we live this far away, the mandatory school attendance law doesn’t apply. The superintendent of the school district threatened us with sheriffs, lawyers, and courts, but I told him to read the statute, and we proceeded with our plans.

By Jon Remmerde
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Woman’s Place

My mother was content to be a housewife; I — computer literate, liberal-to-left, educated — celebrate the achievements women have made during my lifetime and believe in the flexibility and potential of feminist politics. In my mother’s eyes, however, feminism has, at best, abandoned her; at worst, it has actively hunted her down.

By Clare Lake

Your Own People

I look at her, the words to hit and cut and run burning in my throat. She knows I could use them, too. It’s from her I got this mouth that can soothe and slice in alternate breaths.

By Alison Luterman

Angel Of Lamentations

Suddenly, angels began arriving. They went about their business with casual vigor, sometimes passing within inches of the two old people, who did not know they were there. Each angel had a different job.

By Tomas Alex Tizon

Oh, Anthony

She squints into the afternoon sun to avoid the cop’s eyes as he leans against the open screen door. “All right, Maria,” he says, squaring his shoulders and digging into his pockets like all the cops she’s seen on TV.

By Brenda DeMartini

Go Fish

I have an all-right singing voice; it can be quite good, but that’s kind of rare. I get shy and that turns it all around and I go way off-key.

By Sean Twomey