Issue 363 | The Sun Magazine

March 2006

Readers Write

The Middle Of The Night

A family of aliens, the Big Dipper, an old wooden gazebo

By Our Readers


The human imagination . . . has great difficulty in living strictly within the confines of a materialist practice or philosophy. It dreams, like a dog in its basket, of hares in the open.

John Berger

The Sun Interview

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream

Jeremy Taylor On Dreams As A Tool For Social Change

At that point I had a fair amount of experience to support my belief that the language of dreams is universal, but my clients had been mostly well-educated, polite, law-abiding people. So I went to San Quentin to see if this work had the same impact with people who were for the most part poorly educated and had little impulse control. And indeed I found that even major barriers like incarceration make no difference in dream work. We are all having the same kinds of dreams. We may respond to the dreams differently, but the symbolic information the dreams offer is essentially the same. The differences between the prisoners and others in society lie in behaviors, and the nice thing about behaviors is that they can be changed.

By Karen Karvonen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Father, Who Art In Heaven

Dad never believed in heaven. In fact, he was an agnostic until the age of seventy, when he called me to announce that, unlike all the other old people in his Florida retirement condo who were frightened to die and turning to religion, he was now an atheist. It was one of the few times in fifty years that he’d told me anything personal about himself. Amused and grateful, I said, “Good for you, Dad. Good for you.”

By Genie Zeiger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Three Kims

“C is an average grade,” I tell my students. “C means you’re doing just fine. B is a good grade, a better-than-average grade, and an A is an outstanding grade reserved for truly outstanding work.” I’m lying of course, and I suppose they know it. University-wide, the average grade is a B-minus. Higher for some subjects.

By Jean Braithwaite
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


Renee and I walked quickly into the sand dunes, out of sight of the water. My last backward glance found the seal pup floating in the surf like a piece of kelp. He haunted my thoughts the entire way home. That night, curled in bed with a pillow, I sobbed off and on for hours. The pup adrift in a tumbling world had cracked open the grief that I had felt the need to hide.

By Suzanne Murray

Essay #3: Leda And The Swan

Although the swan is not a delicate creature like a butterfly, and is not cuddly and cute like a kitten, it is a living thing that can feel pain and hunger just like any other living creature. In “Leda and the Swan,” by William Butler Yeats, a perverted sort of swan ends up performing sexual intercourse with a loose girl named Leda.

By Eric Puchner

This Is Not That Story

The boy fell from the dormitory balcony sometime between two o’clock and four o’clock in the morning. It had already been snowing for several hours, and it continued to snow after he lay on the ground, so that by the time the dirty white truck rumbled up to the residential quad at 6:15 and three men — the university groundskeepers — climbed wearily from the back, armed with shovels, the snow was nearly six inches deep.

By Susan Perabo