My wife and I moved recently. We didn’t move far — just across town — but our possessions still needed to be boxed and labeled. Everything we owned, whether it had sat unseen in a closet or hung unseen on a wall, became noticed again.

As we contemplated what to take with us and what to sell or give away, I remembered something the artist and writer William Morris said: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I can’t say that everything we kept passed the test, but we did succeed in reducing a lot of the clutter.

I try to keep clutter out of The Sun, too. That’s one reason we don’t carry ads exhorting readers to improve their minds or tighten their abdomens. That’s also why we don’t cram our pages with assembly-line feature stories or obscure writing that leaves people feeling stupid. Instead, we strive to make each issue of The Sun a house in which a reader feels welcome — sometimes comforted, sometimes challenged, but always respected. I want the writing in The Sun to connect us as surely as a hallway connects different rooms. I want the furniture to be sturdy; I want a window that lets in some light.

As Norma and I got to the end of our packing, I joked that all we were doing was moving our boxes from one box to another box. But I knew that our new home would be more to us than merely a box, just as The Sun is more to me than merely a magazine. Frank Lloyd Wright said he could design a house that would make people get a divorce; similarly, it’s possible to design a house (or a magazine) that encourages genuine intimacy and understanding.

Perhaps you know someone who would feel at home in The Sun, someone who appreciates writing that grapples honestly with the disappointment and the excitement of being alive, that dives headfirst into the rough world of confused desire, that embraces an energetic, raw, unpredictable spirituality undecorated by jargon.

If so, consider giving a gift subscription to The Sun this holiday season. Once again, we extend our special holiday offer: If you order a one-year gift subscription (or renew your own subscription now) at $32, you may order additional one-year subscriptions at half price — only $ 16 each. There’s no limit on the number of half-price subscriptions you may give.

You may also want to order one of our collections: A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky: The Best of the Sun; Sunbeams: A Book of Quotations; or Four in the Morning: Essays by Sy Safransky.

We’ll send a card announcing your gift. And we’ll bill you, if you wish.

Sy Safransky
Editor, The Sun

P.S. Gift cards will be mailed directly to the recipient. Please allow us plenty of time to process your subscription and book orders. You may either mail your order to 107 North Roberson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, or fax it to (919) 932-3101.