David Guy | The Sun Magazine

David Guy

David Guy’s book reviews appear regularly in the Washington Post and the New York Times. He is the author of several novels, including The Autobiography of My Body and Football Dreams. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

— From July 1999
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Beautiful Woman And The Fear Of God

I am convinced, however, that the sexual problems of many middle-aged men are the symptoms of a spiritual crisis that has nothing to do with sex. Men are rummaging around in their small rooms looking for the solution — younger women, better gadgets, subtler techniques — when the real answer is outside the room altogether. It is a matter of discovering what sexual energy really is, something like what Roger Corless meant when he said that anything you do with your deepest energy is a sexual act. It is a matter not of looking for sex in new places but of seeing that sex is everywhere.

July 1999
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Breathing Into Silence

Silence, as I use the term, is a dimension of existence. You can live in it. It is what spiritual life is all about. It is unfathomable, limitless space permeated by a vast stillness. In a way, it is inside of us — because that is where we seek it — though, ultimately, spatial terms like “inside” and “outside” don’t mean a thing.

January 1998
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Everything I Ever Wanted

Reflections On Sex At Midlife

When I was young, I dreamed of meeting a woman in a small, secluded room cut off from the rest of the world, someplace where my acts had no consequences. She wasn’t necessarily someone I knew; our lives didn’t touch.

November 1996
The Sun Interview

Breathing Lessons

An Interview With Larry Rosenberg

In the end, no path is going to fit you 100 percent. Making your way through different ones, using your innate wisdom and your awareness, is part of the practice. The standard that helped me decide was the original standard of the Buddha: “I teach only suffering and the end of suffering.” So ask yourself, “Is this way of life, this method, this teacher helping me to shed my suffering? Is my life becoming lighter? Am I becoming less self-centered?”

August 1996
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fear Kills

I think I tried to describe what I actually feared. The crushing weight of eternal time. The dizzying space of infinity. I remember he laughed a bit as I brought these things up — so big a subject for such a little kid.

March 1996
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

What’s Eating Me

A Memoir

My mother never held a baby that way. Even when she was feeding my brother, he always somehow rested on her arm, never melted into her body. In New Hampshire, I finally said something to my brother about never having been treated that way when I was a baby. “No,” my brother said. “Our mother would have held us out there with a pair of tongs if she could have.”

June 1988
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

When Work Is Play

Writing is like psychotherapy, or a spiritual discipline. It is a way of encountering reality. It teaches me about myself and the world around me. I’m not sure how it does that, just as I’m not sure how the revelations of religion and psychotherapy happen. People who don’t “believe” in writing don’t know what I’m talking about. To them I call it my work, putting it in a context they can understand.

February 1988
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On Being A Wonderful Father

I was being a wonderful father at the expense of my son. I think of all the other parents in the world who push their children into things in order to compensate for their own inadequacies. They are also often known as wonderful parents. I wonder what their children think.

January 1987
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Reader Behind The Writer

A great masterpiece might sit there beside some obscure and shoddy effort. Schools and universities told you what books were great and worthy and famous; a library sat there mutely and let you decide.

October 1986
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fear Strikes Out

A pen pal of mine in a nearby state recently published her first novel and was surprised when it was referred to under the heading of women’s fiction. She had never placed herself in any category, and wondered what the term meant.

October 1985
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Notes Toward A Theory Of Pornography

I don’t believe that pornography creates a problem (that is, it doesn’t create a need for sexual fantasy) but that it reflects a problem, or rather, for me, not a problem but simply a fact: that a part of man’s make-up, a part of his sexual being, is this fantasy element.

June 1985
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Notes Toward A Psychology Of The Nuclear Age

I assume that at the site of a nuclear blast people would know literally nothing. One moment they would be living breathing human beings and the next moment they — and the landscape they inhabited — would not even be dust. Would there be any warning at all for such people? Does a missile even from far off make some sound that would warn them of their imminent death? (These are rhetorical questions. I really don’t care to know.) Of all the possibilities in a nuclear war, that has always seemed to me the most fortunate, to be at the site of the blast without warning and never know what hit you. Similarly, not to be at the exact site of the blast, but caught in the firestorm or the gale-like winds that surround it, might be a comparatively fortunate death in nuclear war. 

February 1985
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