Issue 396 | The Sun Magazine

December 2008

Readers Write


A hockey rink, a volume of Anne Sexton’s collected poems, Planned Parenthood

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

December 2008

When a friend called with the news, I assumed he was putting me on. A deer, he said, had crashed through the plate-glass window of a pottery store in downtown Chapel Hill. It was exactly one month after the 9/11 attacks, and I wasn’t in the mood for a joke.

By Sy Safransky


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The Sun Interview

Moral Combat

Chris Hedges On War, Faith, And Fundamentalism

You can spend your whole life struggling against war and end up with a world that’s more violent than when you began, but resistance is what gives you spiritual strength. You trust that the work is worth doing and that it’s helping somewhere, though perhaps evidence of that won’t be apparent in your lifetime. You find self-worth in the ability to stand up and fight back without worrying too much about what you can accomplish. That is part of being human. We’re not God. We have a limited capacity to fight evil. We use the gifts and tools we’ve been given and trust that life is meaningful, even if everything we try to do seems to fail.

By Bethany Saltman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ikkyū At The Wind-Eye

I’m not complaining. In fact I want to praise You. But here’s the trick about You, me, and praise: every time I vanish into the Moment and feel how You took 10 million years to prepare a place for me, I’m flooded, as You come again, by a gratitude that drowns me.

By David James Duncan
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Three Ages Of Woman

Once a man promised to wait all day for me at Rome’s Piazza della Repubblica, to wait all day and into the night for me to arrive. I was taking an overnight bus from Prague to Venice, then a water taxi from the bus to the train station, and finally a train from Venice to Rome. We had no idea how long it would take.

By Vivé Griffith
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Buy One, Get One Free

A Journal Of My Presidential Campaign

I am the first pro-Sudoku candidate for president in American history. Sudoku, as you may know, is a Japanese number puzzle found in most newspapers (except the New York Times). It consists of a square of eighty-one boxes in which the player must inscribe numbers so that each row contains 1 through 9.

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Shadow Of The Whale

It is 2 A.M. on a Sunday when my husband, Brian, and I arrive at the emergency room. The waiting area is strangely quiet, almost peaceful. The TV overhead drones, and a Latina mother and her young daughter sit in adjoining chairs, looking calm and wide awake. I take a deep breath and step up to the admitting window in my slower-than-usual, wide-legged fashion. The man behind the glass looks down at my belly and asks, “How far along?”

By Thea Sullivan

The Aftermath Lounge

Catch stepped out of his trailer and saw the girl alone on the beach across the highway. She was wading ankle deep in the gulf, wearing a light brown bikini the color of her skin. Catch hadn’t seen anyone on the beach in a long time, not since the hurricane, the one most people in town couldn’t stand to call by name anymore.

By Margaret McMullan