Issue 45 | Correspondence | The Sun Magazine


I’ve been receiving the magazine since shortly after I moved to Chapel Hill (August 1978) and am enjoying it more and more. I like the new format and the art work, and the choice of articles and poems is excellent.

So thanks be to you all for the time, energy, and willingness to work that enables The Sun to end up in my hands.

Gray Lindgren Chapel Hill, N.C.

Enclosed is my renewal for another ten issues. Wish I could contribute more; on the other hand, if you raise the price, I’ll probably go along at least a bit.

You seem to be able to make it, though. Letting go of the high quality cover paper isn’t that much of a sacrifice and it tends to make The Sun even more of a sister magazine to Rain (which is how I see them, probably because I got hold of them simultaneously).

So you want criticisms, pats on the back etc. Well, here are a few reasons why I keep going with you.

1. Once a subscriber, it’s hard to give up (like leaving a party and finding out the next day things really started to happen five minutes later).

2. I like the idea of “a magazine of ideas.” But why drop the “NC” caption? We need global thinking and all that today, but just as much we need a sense of locality, of the things that make one spot particular (the things and people, of course). I don’t think you can make a magazine of ideas that is relevant to the whole creation. Relevant to a world-wide network of people, yes. But a network is just the flow between nodes, focal points and nexuses. So I just miss the little touch on your front page saying that The Sun is what it is just because Chapel Hill is where and what it is, right now. A minor point, maybe.

3. I like at least one magazine of poetry and prose just to force myself away from too much nonfiction reading. I like the photos, wish there could be more of them.

4. Editorially, you’re still, as far as I can see, honest people. Not too smug, self-inflated or careless. So many people dealing with the “togetherness” thing in one aspect or another — be it alternative magazines, communes, groups — seem unaware of the danger of leaving other people — readers, bystanders, latecomers — outside, as onlookers or admitted for a fee. Togetherness is a painful thing, viewed from a distance. I’ve had that feeling, sometimes, when reading the CoEvolution Quarterly, or dealing with diverse groups of people like communes or alternative research groups. After the initial enthusiasm and struggle there lurks institutionalization and the folly that you don’t really need anybody else anymore. This, then, is still absent to my eyes at least.

5. I know this is silly, but a magazine like yours makes it seem so much fun (sorry, rewarding) to be in the business. Would anyone care for HAIL: a magazine of big thinking and small talk (or: a Journal of Ecosophy)? No, I guess the niches are getting too small for any new ventures.

Criticism: Keep the ads collected at the end. No harm in them per se. Even I read them, but they interfere with the layout.

Anything you would like to have from over here, just ask.

Peter Lundberg Goteborg

I wonder if y’all would do me a favor? I have a personal charity that needs your assistance: turtles. During this season, they’re out and about in numbers, and they have a damned hard time getting across the road. Speeding along in your Spiders and Midgets and ’57 Ford pickups, you may have noticed some of my slower charges permanently autographing the highways. So, if you’re inclined to give me a hand, check your rear view mirrors first, pull over, stop, and help me get the turtles out of the road!!! Just note which way the turtle was heading and carry him over to the safer grass on the shoulder.

Also — I’d like every turtle rescuer to write me a postcard telling me where and when she/he performed her/his rescue. At summer’s end, I’ll be sending the rescuer with the most turtles a prize.

Elizabeth Albrecht The Lakehouse
P.O. Box 147
Townville, S.C. 29689

I am writing this in hopes that someone can find the time and patience to tell us why this situation has gotten out of hand. I’m talking about dying. And funerals. And why it is so easy to do one but cost so much for the other. The majority of people seem to be trapped into monthly insurance payments by this system. Smiling agents grinning their way in your door, somber undertakers stashing that cash. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is why haven’t we developed a community system where everyone can go in dignity instead of having to choose between the stripped down model and the one with all the extras. I would much rather send my money ($20/month) to you people at The Sun.

P.S. You can plant me on a Rocky Mountain slope ANY day of the week.

Tommy Smith Raleigh, N.C.

I was first introduced to your magazine when my mother and I stopped in Beautiful Day Natural Foods to get a DBS Guide and some rice. I looked at the cover and immediately decided that it was something worthwhile and that I should get into it. I was disheartened at the plight your magazine and your fine selves are in. I want you to know that I pray for you guys constantly and I realize what strong and beautiful people you all must be. Please, don’t ever give up. We all enjoy you here in my family, and are hoping the best of all things will come to you. I am a thirteen year old kid who really has faith in you and thinks she understands your purpose. You really are on my “Number One” People’s list and will always stay there, no matter what happens.

Tricia Townes Durham, N.C.

Here you are, rising again to bring more warmth into my life. You’ve tinged the clouds this quiet morning, and brought some sparkle, rainbows in the dewy webs. It’s been a few weeks since we were here in this part of the world together, for I had left the Carolinas on a westward migration, and recent travels carried me southward and you higher in my skies. While snows and ice covered things here, we sat together in sunny Florida, and though some parts of my Yankee heritage yearned for the crispness, I was joyed to relax, make contacts and connections in the deeper South (though Florida hardly seems the South as Carolina always does).

Had a good visit enroute with the folks at 221 Pickens in Columbia, a strong energy focus in that community, restaurant co-op and more, outside a sleety Tuesday it was, inside warm and cheery. Some of that family are working toward management of a local organic farm to supply co-op and others . . . also there re-united with friend Terra, our connection from last year’s gatherings at healing waters (Eden, Az.), in the forests of Oregon’s rainbow festival, stops on the western tour . . . she travels sprout bus doing kitchens for wholistic workshops and seminars. We talked over hot cider about coming gatherings, wondered about such for the southeast . . . outside sleet turned to rain.

Ft. Lauderdale seemed like a movie somehow — another world, condos along the beach, canals, powerboats and sail, South Florida like Southern California some (how?), and moving through the scenes there: more family, doing their own dances in the drama (I am reminded of past theatrical training, traditions, and concept-y’all-is-ations heh heh).

Tallahassee brought me back to the real world of college towns. After all, the world is just one big college town isn’t it? The Leon county food co-op is a beauty — complete services food store much like people’s foods in Ocean Beach (San Diego has been home too).

Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and others are the Appalantic Federation with a warehouse supplying members. Now Georgia, Florida, and others form Magnolia Federation of co-ops; they will likely establish a warehouse to serve members . . . hooray!! Let there always be food for people, not for profit.

In Tallahassee is Seven Hills Wholistic Health Center. For the past two years they have sponsored a weekend healing arts festival, similar to many gatherings everywhere — sisters and brothers coming together to share their skills, awareness and love in a spirit of celebration of our Oneness. . . . My journey was graced with a weekend in Atlanta and times shared with Ram Dass. Clearly he spoke to many of us, like refresher training, and downstairs in the Congress Center the EST’ers were “getting it” (or is it “getting off it”?). All pathways toward Home.

I had planned (heh heh again) to leave Atlanta for the West and a Desert Springs reunion. Ride was delayed, me content to follow my heart, returning to Chapel Hill, to joyfully join in work with the Wholistic Health Center group on their (our?) new facility. Family again and again, All One. More and more, as these connecting links are strengthened and newsletters exchanged, as we join in regional conferences of “New Age” (overworked — as is “natural”) busyness endeavors, gathering in celebration, in reunion . . . more and more IT happens, as we spin through these times of change and transformation, faster, faster, higher, higher — spiraling toward the Light, toward you.

Dear Sun — keep shining always. I am your brother,


Kevin Vaughn is a jackass [“Another Opinion,” June 1979]. Does he really believe nuclear reactors are designed — to the last one — to politely cease destruction at the magical figure of 560 million graven images? Not one cents damage past that point?

Mr. Vaughn would do well to consider that the toxicity of nuclear wastes cannot be equated with the toxicity of “conventional” pollutants. While most pollutants disperse and break down, nuclear wastes must be stored long periods lest they damage Earth’s fragile biosphere as they mingle with it. It seems unwise to me to create massive amounts of long-lived, deadly materials for a mere forty years (a reactor’s lifespan) of electric toothbrushes and television commercials.

Mr. Vaughn will correct me if I’m wrong (maybe even if I am right, too), but his defense of nuclear power gives me the impression he feels it is necessary to continue the bad energy consumption habits and built-in-obsolescense of our times. Yet Mr. Vaughn ignores the possible price of this posterity: either near extinction of all life on Earth, or, at the least, a quarter million years of worry. I cannot abide by these wishy-washy concepts and such cripplingly poor planning — they are the type of “built-in-obsolescence” that bring on famine, war and extinction. Mr. Vaughn, is your race now obsolescent? Soon to be? Do you know either?

Mr. Vaughn will die long before the nuclear wastes his race creates have lost their terrible power over Earth’s living film of water and air. Only a foolish race would endanger their descendants so. There are often grandiose spaces between human dreams and human realities — they are there only because of a certain lack of perception. Faced with crippling posterity, the western world has planted itself on its posterior, and it just may be too late to get mobile again.

Our century will be cursed as a time of careless, wanton wasters if there are any people left living to curse our collective sloth and greed. I hope there will be.

I am an exuberant lover of spring water, clear blue mountain skies, green growing things and friendly ladies. I do not like the gritty, grimy squalor of this automobile-oriented culture, and I am an avid cyclist. In all things there is an elegant simplicity that more people would do better to cherish. This morning I read in the paper of more industrial mishap — train derailment, refinery explosions and the like. I doubt the honesty and wisdom of people who champion as safe yet another industry meant to continue this insane upsurge in consumption and population. And there will come a day when the apparently limitless economic and numerical growth stops up short. Cataclysmically.

I wonder if, on that day, I will be able to venture beyond my door without radiation suit, air filters, and radiation counter.

Mikey Hempseed Durham, N.C.
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