Thanks for the interview with Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick on A Course in Miracles [“Higher Learning,” March 1995]. I often feel that everyone else’s ego causes the problems in the world. As a result, I become oblivious to the fact that my ego is the problem with me, so I need to be reminded. I’m less of a grouch today because of D. Patrick Miller’s interview. Thanks.
I object to your description of subscriptions: “Subscriptions are the blood in the vein, the meat on the bone, the smile on the face of a healthy magazine.” The meat on the bone connotes violence. As a vegan, I almost didn’t subscribe to your magazine because of that phrase. There are certainly more accurate analogies that come to mind — “the roots in the soil,” for example.
Thank you for printing Charles Goodrich’s “Fathering the Night” [February 1995]. My five-month-old son now sleeps until 5 or even 6 A.M., but bedtime anxiety is still an uneasy memory. I thought those demons — the airless nursery, the man sneaking up the stairs, the burning house — were just my unique form of postpartum depression. Thanks for clearing it up for me.
I initially subscribed to The Sun because it sounded like just what I wanted: essays and stories written from a deeply personal perspective, stories from the heart, stories of the spirit, stories to see ourselves in (or not), stories to add to our understanding of our common humanity. Have I been disappointed? Not exactly. But with each new issue something continues to nag at me: where are the women’s voices here?
I scan the table of contents each month for female authors and always feel cheated. If this is a magazine of ideas, why do the ideas of women seem to be considered for publication far less often than the ideas of men? Is it because your completely male editorial staff doesn’t care what goes on in the hearts and minds of their sisters, lovers, mothers, friends, daughters? Is it because they think their readers don’t? Or is it that, regardless of how truly feminist they consider themselves to be, they don’t really consider women as having anything profound to say?
I am disheartened. Your magazine at its best is a gem, and at its worst leaves me feeling voiceless and invisible. What do your two female “readers” get to read, anyway — letters to the editor?
I want to compliment you on the poetry you print, even though I’ve sent you some of my best poems and so far you’ve always rejected them. The poems you publish are consistently interesting, fresh, and moving. Antler, for example, is one of America’s major living poets, though few realize it. Poetry is much better represented in your pages than in the more specialized literary journals or academic quarterlies. The prominent place you give poetry among your selections helps make The Sun a model of lively thought and soulful sensibility.
It is a sad day when one must write to a lover that it’s over. I’ve been a loyal Sun subscriber for almost seven years. Each issue felt more like a family reunion than a magazine. But I’ve not felt that way for some time now. The vitality is gone, replaced by an intoxicating façade passed off as the metaphysical. You’ve traveled from a place where things had wonder to a place where you insult the reader with shallow insight.
When The Sun arrives in my mailbox now, I don’t always think it’s dead on arrival, but I do worry about your anxiety attacks. Like a lover, I wonder if you’ll ever figure out why I couldn’t continue. To stay in the relationship would mean endorsing the illusion.
I am seriously entertained by your Correspondence section. Occasionally the letter writers take on the tone of spurned lovers: “You said you’d always love me,” or, “You didn’t tell me you were married.” Other times, they are like lovers in the first blush of romance: “Meeting you has changed my life.” Then there are the long-suffering ones who still love you, but wish you’d stop doing some particular thing: “Honey, could you please stop dribbling that basketball while I’m trying to do the taxes?!”
One of the joys of reading The Sun is that I never know what to expect: big yucks, pain, over-the-edge woo-woo weirdness, titillation of various kinds. I expect I’m not the only yahoo out here who actually likes the fact that the tone and subject matter are inconsistent each month. In the course of a few hours’ reading, I am pulled all over the map into places I never thought I’d go, some I never wanted to go, some I’ll never forget (in a good way and a bad way). My advice is to continue being consistently inconsistent. Works for me.