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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Vocation

Photography

Latin American Dreams

From 1992 to 2007 Martín Weber photographed hundreds of Latin Americans, each holding a chalkboard on which he had asked them to “write down a wish or a dream you have.” His goal, he says, was to give his subjects added dimension by allowing the viewer a glimpse of their personal stories. In their brief messages we see evidence of economic and political struggles, of human failings and aspirations, of broken hearts and enduring love.

The Sun Interview

Quiet, Please

Gordon Hempton On The Search For Silence In A Noisy World

Certainly people have their preferences regarding music and other sounds they like to listen to, but I do believe there is an “ideal” soundscape, and I’ve given it a name: “sonesia.” It includes the sounds of wildlife, such as songbirds. It includes the gentle sound of insects and the sound of distant water. (Up close, rushing water can mask the other sonic elements of the environment.) All of these sounds are indicative of grassland, a savannah. That’s where humans evolved, along with songbirds, which are the best indicator of an environment’s suitability for human prosperity: where songbirds live, there is also sufficient food for humans.

Fiction

Nothing To Do With Me

One morning over breakfast my girlfriend, Milana, told me about an old boyfriend of hers who had self-published a chapbook of haiku. Peripheries, he’d called it. He carried dozens of copies around with him in a hemp shoulder bag and sometimes read his poems at open mikes and on street corners.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

My First Date

I was a nervous teenager. After my parents’ divorce, I locked myself in my room for five years and watched TV. By the time I was sixteen I felt nauseous every time I stepped out of the house. To get me away from TV and turn me into a normal teenage boy, my mother got me a summer job packing boxes at a warehouse.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Troubled Youth

A brief, wet spring gave way to a murderously hot summer. The days were as long as medieval dragons and even harder to kill. It was so hot the squirrels took off their jackets, dredged their slender bodies in cornmeal, and arranged themselves with pearl onions in buttered pans.