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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Lost Cause

My dad’s name was Ed, but his friends called him Eddie. In old photos he is Jack Nicholson handsome, with devilish good looks and a mischievous gleam in his eye. I can see why my mom fell for him.

A Place For Songs

In the summer we got word that the county forestland near our northern-Wisconsin home would be clear-cut. “Not my favorite pines,” I said, hoping. But, yes, those were the ones.

One Flight Up

One can die in cleanliness, or one can die in filth. I’m not talking about your soul. At the Prince Hotel — an old Bowery flophouse — the men paid a few dollars a night to live in stalls, four feet wide and six feet deep, with chicken-wire ceilings.

Shadow Dancing

Autumn comes, summer ends . . . so quickly.The fire is momentarily resurrected in dazzling fall days, brilliant changing falling leaves. I compete with birds and squirrels for the bounty of fruit, nuts, berries. Too delicate for scorching summer, good-eating greens form carpets everywhere. This season, between fire and ice, is a delightful respite.

Temple Sweeper

Adverse drug effects are encouraged by multiple drug use; interactions between medications may alter their intended therapeutic effect. Multiple prescriptions are common, particularly within the present fragmented health system in which a person’s care may be divided among various specialists. In addition, people are often misinformed concerning the identity, purpose, side effects and dosage instructions for their medications. Improper storage may alter the properties of drugs or even make them strongly toxic. For example, outdated tetracycline can cause kidney damage; nitroglycerin can deteriorate quickly if exposed to light or moisture.

Another Appetite

Except for a few independent strands, her soft white hair is pulled back from one of the gentlest faces ever to smile through a window. Her dress is plain, as comfortable as her worn blue tennis shoes, yet feminine. Gypsy Hollingsworth is one of those women one might have seen traveling in a conestoga wagon during the nineteenth century: appearing as fragile as a dandelion puff-ball, yet as indomitable as the plant itself. The strong silent type, she is, with a girlish spark in eyes have seen 76 years.


A friend of mine once told me he doesn’t eat in natural foods restaurants because they “make staying healthy so damned unpleasant.” Well, I’m happy to say that the three natural foods restaurants in the Triangle area, Wildflower Kitchen in Chapel Hill, SomeThyme in Durham and Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh serve nutritional foods that are a treat instead of a treatment.

Zen Plums

The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection
The water has no mind to receive their image.

— Zenrin Kushu

Temple Sweeper

Concentrated or prolonged stress may produce widely varying diseases. Considerable research is being done on this, underscoring the dynamic relationship between mental and physical events, rather than the traditional mind/body dualism.

A Secret Garden

Herbs you grow and dry yourself will be fresher, more flavorful, and give you greater satisfaction than store-bought ones. Even if you live in town and have no space for an outdoor garden, you can grow your own herb garden right in the kitchen.