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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Maintenance Boy

I worked weekend nights and a couple of afternoon shifts during the week. Sometimes I requested more hours just to get away from home. Being away meant I didn’t have to deal with the sadness that lingered in our house.

The Cure For Racism Is Cancer

This strange country of cancer, it turns out, is the true democracy — one more real than the nation that lies outside these walls and more authentic than the lofty statements of politicians; a democracy more incontrovertible than platitudes or aspiration.

A Secret Garden

Vegetable or plant dyeing is an art which belongs to the botanist and gardener as well as the spinner, weaver, and leather craftsman. A knowledge of field botany can help the dyer identify many useful dyeplants which grow in the countryside. Many dyeplants which are not native to the United States can be successfully cultivated in the garden.

Boy

When my brother was twelve, I found six mice nailed to the wall of the abandoned tree house in the woods near our apartment. He spent a lot of time there. It seemed to me the little mouse faces were frozen in agony. As though they’d been alive when he’d hammered the nails through them.

Shadow Dancing

The wood stove generates waves of warmth as early winter winds furiously squirm under doors, and wiggle through cracks in windows and walls. Gentle music plays on the late night radio. The blue fire of intensity burns within me. My mind is busy thinking, feeling, creating. My being reverberates with awareness. I take an idea, mold it into the shape that fits the keyhole of my consciousness, and I am changed in the transition of a new opening.

Invisible Symphony

The next two hours are the most precious I will ever spend with my father. He is alert and not visibly suffering. Though not a chatterbox, he converses with us all.

From The Honey Pot

This time we’re talking about feeling good — what an elusive state that is. Just when you think you’ve reached it, it’s gone. The advertising and consuming genii would have you believe that happiness/success/love can be found in this bottle or in that shiny car. Why, if it’s so easy to obtain, do we usually feel so miserable? And what does it mean to feel good?

Dear Food

“A veggie restaurant in Raleigh? It’ll never work” was the reaction of most folks who consider Raleigh a meat and potatoes town.