Issue 376 | The Sun Magazine

April 2007

Readers Write


A hundred-dollar bill, lemon cookies and a Wink soda, J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey

By Our Readers


I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.

Abraham Lincoln

The Sun Interview

The Unseen Life That Dreams Us

John O’Donohue On The Secret Landscapes Of Imagination And Spirit

The U.S. is a great country. You can live the way you want there; you can be a self-made person. But sometimes, when all our energy goes into progress, acquisition, and productivity, it leaves a huge emptiness in the heart. I think the teachings of Meister Eckhart can address that emptiness, can show us how to be patient with it, and in fact bring us deeper into it. At the heart of our emptiness, we can actually discover nourishment in the secret landscapes of imagination and spirit.

By Diane Covington
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Two Worlds

Walking into the temple compound, we walked into another world: quiet, serene, holy. Irregular stepping stones led us through a mossy garden to a steadily dripping little waterfall. Off to one side was a standing figure of Kwan Yin, bodhisattva of compassion, standing on a lotus pedestal.

By Norman Fischer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Passover Questions

I feel defined by loss, my shape delineated by the absence of those who used to surround me. The invisible membrane of love that held us together for so many years has become stretched, attenuated by time and space and death. But when I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still feel my son and my mother.

By Anna Belle Kaufman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


There were strange hands on me. Some were small and cold; others seemed large and rough and smelled of sawdust and cinnamon. It was my third time at the new church, but I’d seen nothing like this before. The hands belonged to male church elders, who were encircling me in front of the entire congregation.

By Christopher Locke
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Free Spirits

I have walked the few blocks down to the pond on campus tonight because I read in the paper that some Buddhists from the local sangha are going to free the souls of a lot of people who were bombed at Hiroshima.

By Linda McCullough Moore
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Grandmother’s Autobiography

I can understand my mother’s revulsion. My grandmother writes of the time she left my mother and her brother in a boardinghouse for six weeks while she was in the hospital with an ectopic pregnancy. My mother was nine; her brother was five.

By Valerie Ann Leff

Fast Talk

At fourteen, shoplifting is fun. Like a sport, it takes a lot of skill. I have to be quick and gutsy and able to fool people. I put on my good-girl face and wear my cargo pants because they have deep pockets.

By Bella Mahaya Carter

Into Silence

Over the course of two years I photographed my grandmother Marjorie Clarke on my weekly visits to her home in rural Butler, Maryland. With her health declining and Alzheimer’s disease loosening her ties to everyday reality, I spent much of my time reading aloud or singing songs to her, attempting to hold her attention as long as possible.

By Marshall Clarke

Our Son At One Year Old

At the close of this day we / have the bright idea of taking / him in the rowboat out on the / lake to view the moon rising

By Kim Stafford

The Word That Is A Prayer

One thing you know when you say it: / all over the earth people are saying it with you; / a child blurting it out as the seizures take her, / a woman reciting it on a cot in a hospital.

By Ellery Akers

An Anthology Of Chinese Poetry

“All has come to nothing,” he writes. / In old age his clothes are tattered and thin, / His hut without a door; sick, / He suffers bad dreams.

By Robert P. Cooke

But I Can’t Talk Now

When I heard Michael was gone, I went downstairs / and sat at the kitchen table. / A half dozen oranges in a glass bowl, / leathery red pomegranates from the farmer’s market.

By Alison Luterman