This is my second attempt at a letter to you. The first became a personal tale, ending with a plea for the fate of trees and rivers when what I called the “superstructure of civilization” was disfigured by a hurricane. How far I jumped from the personal to the global can be measured perhaps by the double-spaced line that separated them. So close together in my mind, yet such an apparent distance to span. (And how in the hell did environmental concern supercede my usual concern for human plight?)
I felt that your article “The Open Door” [November, Issue 49] took a slower path through this continuum, sharing my sense of dilemma. You are honest. You admit yourself to be vulnerable, a feeling being, yet stretched between all the human dichotomies: the past and the present, the inner and the outer. Reading a piece like yours, written in the immediacy of the confusion, may not be “reassuring” for some readers, but it does a very valuable thing: it brings one back to that murk, that cauldron within each of us from which we create, guiding ourselves from the many to the single, from the highest back to the path.
At times I feel myself shedding layers of skin, rejecting another, outer barrier between “I see” and “I know.” I reach up to my face and touch a rough, dry surface: surely another layer has just sloughed off.
One day I suddenly realize that I’m terribly disillusioned: I’ve trusted too far, I’ve stepped in too deep. I move away from a chunk of time, cracking off like an iceberg, gulped by the sea, melting.
The ghosts remain. They leer at me from three story windows, they reprimand me at the typewriter: you can’t really cover black with white. I diffract the problem, pulling stray hairs, jot down a grocery list. Basic reality, the bottom line. The breezes blow through, ear to ear, scenting my thoughts with sunshine. Yet the clouds hover still. I must sit out under them in the rain: waiting. Understanding, clarity will come. I resign myself to the slower pace, the tunnel of this journey. The following hours blind me, grinding insight to a point in a pencil sharpener. I get used to the half-light inside the tunnel.
Thanks for your honesty, your insights. I’m glad you’re big enough — as a father, and a child — to share them with us.
Thank you, SUN, for sustaining me during those times when my light seems clouded over.
I think your efforts are appreciated and needed more than you know.
Frankly, now that you’ve got the graphic aspect of the magazine polished, it’s far and away the best aspect. The content of the issues you’ve sent me have consistently disappointed. For a “magazine of ideas” there’s damn few ideas. A lot of psychobabble and sentimentality, but very little that provoked thought. Really, Sy, I’m not trying to be cruel about this, but it’s hard to see how THE SUN differs from Rod McKuen poetry or the “Lifestyle” section of the Akron Beacon Journal. . . .
Hope things are working out. I admire your determination.
I liked 48 very much, almost everything in it. I never like everything in anything. Loved The Open Door.
We need THE SUN.