Issue 441 | The Sun Magazine

September 2012

Readers Write


A reunion at a cafe, a little nap, a boxing match sans trunks

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Parables: The Arrows Of God

There was a woman who wanted peace in the world and peace in her heart and all sorts of good things, but she was very frustrated. The world seemed to be falling apart. She would read the papers and get depressed.

By Megan McKenna


And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.

John Steinbeck

The Sun Interview

Loving The Stranger

Rabbi Michael Lerner On The Folly Of Nationalism

The people who preach that “politics is the art of the possible” continually forget that we don’t know what’s possible; we find out by struggling for what’s desirable. Instead of listening to those who tell you to pick goals that can be achieved in the current political landscape, I say pick goals that will create the kind of world you want.

By Mark Leviton
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ten Days In November

It’s not timeless, because poets fall in and out of favor, and most poems disappear the moment after they’re written, and anyway the whole planet will be devoured by the sun in a few billion years, and when that happens, no one is going to run around screaming, The poetry! Save the poetry!

By Eric Anderson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


She was the one who snuggled with my mother every night, the storyteller who was too sick to run away with her daughter and granddaughter before the SS came in the morning, and who chose instead, after tucking my mother into bed the night before, to climb the stairs of the ghetto apartment building and step off the ledge, freeing them to leave, grief-stricken, without her.

By Halina Larman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On The Destruction Of A Roseate Spoonbill Marsh Habitat, Early 1960s

Trauma is a shock too large to contain. Like a current too strong for the body to dissipate, it burns as it passes through. It disfigures the spirit.

By Cary Tennis
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

An Absorbing Errand

In essence the defiance is about using time and skill to elaborate on an expression of feeling — or an object — beyond the crudest utility, and, by doing so, to endow it with an energy, an attractiveness, an aesthetic that invites the interest and recognition of others, sometimes even after much time has passed.

By Janna Malamud Smith

Someday Is Today

My sister’s husband died recently, and sorrow has made her a little girl again. Although she’s thirty-nine, I keep catching glimpses of her little-girl face, the one I know from old photographs and junior-high yearbooks.

By Alethea Black

That Sacred Otherness

And sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, . . . that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, . . . and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.


Low Noon

Long after our last slow day together, / say, a campfire, a walk in the woods, / getting lost and not caring

By Jim Ralston


Light like the moment after the baton tap & before the first symphonic note. / Light of the possible, light of the improbable. / Light not like the way she says the syllables of my name.

By Gerry LaFemina