Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Ruth L. Schwartz is grateful that she’s able to redeem her youthful and not-so-youthful mistakes in poems. She is the author of five books, including the National Poetry Series winner Edgewater. She teaches creative writing in the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and lives in Healdsburg, California.
This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages.
What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.
Though we haven’t devoted the whole issue to the anniversary, we have allowed the section to grow beyond our original plans. After seeing the pieces, we felt that our readers would enjoy them as much as we did — for the information about the magazine’s history, for the glimpses into the writers’ lives, and (not least) for the quality of the writing.
“Dr. O’Brien told me about your, um . . . act of love,” says Syd, the therapeutic-shoe salesman, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other. “I was totally moved.”
For a long time I thought: I can live without the walks on the beach, without skiing, hiking, camping. But I wanted our lovemaking to remain sacred, untouchable. I wanted G.’s illness never to intrude in that one place. Of course, I didn’t get my wish.