Issue 439 | The Sun Magazine

July 2012

Readers Write


Turkish baths, a Greek island, a cat named Tucker

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Memories, Dreams, Reflections

The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things. In fact it seems to me as if that alienation which so long separated me from the world has become transferred into my own inner world, and has revealed to me an unexpected unfamiliarity with myself.

By C.G. Jung
Sy Safransky's Notebook

July 2012

History laughs as the wind lifts her skirts. It’s too late for modesty now.

By Sy Safransky


No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going, . . . and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Sun Interview

Conversations With A Remarkable Man

Honoring The Late James Hillman

Why is there such a vast self-help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.

By Scott London , Sy Safransky & Genie Zeiger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Blues For Allah

I was wrong. Ismail did, in fact, have powerful connections to the band, connections called “Africa” and “exile.” He under­stood what I’d failed to grasp: that when he led Aliya up the narrow stairs of the tour bus, he was leading her back to the deserts of North Africa, where those who have been driven from their homes recognize the longing in one another’s eyes, where unexpected guests are treated like nobility and children like family.

By Krista Bremer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


I saw my grandmother revived a few more times than was kind, and I can’t forget how she said to us, straight and clear out of the depths of her dementia: “Don’t ever let yourself get to this point.”

By Sara Catterall
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

If I Should Ever Lose My Mind

My grandmother always said that if she ever lost her mind, I should put a pillow over her head — meaning she wanted me to press a pillow against her face until she suffocated, thus sparing her whatever indignities she imagined people who lost their minds were forced to endure.

By Matthew Vollmer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

James Hillman Never Said Hello To Me

All of which is to say: James Hillman loved and embodied paradox — not only the play of opposites but also the effluvia that attach to the play of opposites. For James nothing was quite as it seems, except in those highly improbable moments when things are exactly as they seem. (He would have insisted on that exception.)

By Michael Ventura

Grimace In The Burnt Black Hills

After six states, 1,300 miles, and almost twenty-four hours, the iron tang of blood and bleach still hadn’t blown out of my truck. And that’s saying something because since the fire I can’t hardly smell dog shit if I step in it.

By Thomas M. Atkinson


Jesus comes back like he said he would: a stand-up kind of guy, / reticent to a fault but rock solid. The shy type everyone likes / but no one thinks much about one way or the other, / until one evening

By Steve Kowit

Becoming A Horse

It was dragging my hands along its belly, / loosing the bit and wiping the spit / from its mouth that made me / a snatch of grass in the thing’s maw, / a fly tasting its ear.

By Ross Gay