I’ve been reading everyone else’s SUN for a year now. But that doesn’t help your overhead, does it? Renew my subscription for two years, please.
You and the staff are doing a great job, and the magazine shows it with each succeeding issue. I have to believe that if we keep plugging away, keep questioning, that our time will come, and although things do not look bright now, just coming home to our snow-covered hill with its ever-powerful beauty gives me new vigor, new strength and faith. THE SUN has become a part of all this and at times it, too, will jump out at me, and I will slap my knee and exclaim, “All right, we are still here, damn it, and I am not out in left field.”
Thanks, and may THE SUN prosper in 1981.
Somewhere near a year ago, Steve Forrest gave me a subscription to THE SUN. My copies have passed around Ithaca frequently, and it seems the only way I can keep track of them, and end my guilty feelings about expanding your readership without expanding your working capital, is to buy lots of Christmas subscriptions.
Ithaca, it appears, is quite like Chapel Hill — give or take a few dozen feet of snow. We have come to anticipate your monthly visit. More than once you have published thoughts on an issue of concern and recent discussion. Hence my magazine disappears.
This is a portion of a letter to John Rosenthal about his essay, “Insisting On Love,” in last month’s SUN.
I know the cry you write about. I have it sometimes when I drive through the Silk Hope farmland and see the hawk, gust gliding above the upturned field. I cry, not in despair, but to confer a blessing of prosperity upon the farmer’s family in their Lowes-panelled kitchen/family room, in the brick veneer ranch-style house (hip roof and nine over six panes rotting and forgotten out back) perched upon the sienna winter meadows. Who is it who says the only cry we have that lacks self-pity is in our dreams?
And now I am reminded of the shame I feel about my family because we did not try to help each other through. We bought Winnebagos and TV dinners and exercise machines and tried the ways in vogue to make ourselves fit, while with the least possible effort and time, passing from one day to the next — and we had no time for each other. We were self-centered, handsome humans moving from one room to another, down-slippered feet across wall-to-wall carpet, weaving patterns which would never make a web no matter how many times the threads crossed.
I have grown tired and have given up in sorrow because we have not been able to bring our lives together — because my father has not seen that we are apart; he wanders still around the rooms in foot-worn paths that show no chance of changing, except to become wider from his inability to see ahead, and deeper from the danger of looking back.
MY DREAM: I see two women leaning on fishing poles which are erect in the sand. Sixty years old, gloved hands shoulder high at the pole, their bodies sighing earthward as they hang on staring up the beach. One wears a straw hat tied onto her head by a pink kerchief, probably the same one which secures her rain bonnet when she drives to the grocery at home in the winter. The other wears a visor, its plastic green reflection masking grey eyes, tight lines around her mouth, teeth set as if to hiss the long “e” sound which seems to make bearing up against the elements less taxing. These two are more than pole sitters for thirsty husbands. Good friends? Probably, judging from the space they share, relaxed and passive, each looking toward the pier. (And oh the summers they have fished this sea.) In my dream I imagine them catching some spot, a croaker or two, sharing the hour in the late afternoon cleaning and scraping fish scales into their drinks. I hear children screaming jubilantly down the beach. I look and when I turn back around, my ladies have abandoned their poles and are walking into the ocean.