Issue 322 | The Sun Magazine

October 2002

Readers Write

Faking It

Christmas letters, orgasms, African violets

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2002

When Norna mentioned to our neighbor Manny that we’d be going away soon to celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary, Manny, who’s been married fifty-two years, said, “It’s a good start.”

By Sy Safransky


Truth can be found everywhere, even on the lips of drunkards, in the noisiest of taverns.

Elie Wiesel

The Sun Interview

Water From A Deeper Well

Huston Smith On Why Spirituality Without Religion Isn’t Enough

Undoubtedly, the transcendent experience — whatever its source — is the most important experience that a human being can have, because it opens up the certainty that the other world is more real than our quotidian world, in the same way that sunlight is more fundamental than the shadows it casts.

By April Thompson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Seventeen American Zen Stories

Over the years, says O’Hara, “this has emerged as his great teaching for me. . . . He was broken. I am broken. And when we can see that we are all chipped and broken, we begin to see that we are truly perfect and complete, just as we are.”

By Sean Murphy
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Used Poetry

It is the summer of my fiftieth year, and I have just returned from a long journey to pay my last respects to my mother’s sister Charlotte. Everyone called her Chad, pronounced “Shod.” Her husband of forty years, my Uncle Glenn, had preceded her in death by less than six weeks.

By Jaime O’Neill
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Human Services

When I first spot Glen on the Monashee Rail Trail, I almost wave to him. Then I stop myself, think better of it, and decide to pass him by. It’s OK. After all, a whole year has passed since I last saw Glen, and I am a new person: mother, wife, nonsmoker; my hair cut to shoulder length, my face free of makeup. It is all right to walk right past Glen.

By Carol Rifka Brunt
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Au Revoir, Pleasant Dreams

Ten years older than my mother, my father retired soon after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her midfifties. Despite cautions from doctors that it would be taxing, Dad kept her at home for twelve years.

By Rosemary Berkeley

Two For One

They were not far from Linda’s house, where Jenny had been invited for spaghetti and meatballs: her favorite, and Mr. Serrano’s specialty. All the way from school, Linda had been walking on the inside and Jenny on the outside; then, for some reason — Jenny cannot remember why — they changed places, and not thirty seconds later a car came speeding up behind them, hit Linda, and killed her.

By Jane Mullen