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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Suffering As Grace

An Interview With Ram Dass

When Cat Saunders — a Seattle therapist and longtime admirer of Ram Dass —offered us this interview, I was skeptical. Did we need to publish yet another conversation with the ex-Harvard professor turned holy man? His message was familiar to Sun readers, perhaps too familiar.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Born Too Young: Diary Of A Pilgrimage

(Part One)

Sparrow — the pseudonym for a writer and cultural provocateur who lives on New York’s Lower East Side — has been a regular contributor to The Sun for years, offering a mix of stories, poetry, cartoons, and a number of texts that defy ready classification. His pieces are typically short and offbeat; his style runs to brief, quirky vignettes, in which the humor is pointed and the compassion is apparent.

Giving Away Gardens

A Crip gang member approached the woman for whom I was building a vegetable garden — an old woman on welfare, an ex-prostitute, ex-waitress, ex-chicken-butchering plant worker. He said he was tired, pimping was hard work. I kept to my hammer and shovel, hearing the woman's tubercular laugh, and repressed a moral urge to bash his brains in, instead muttering something nonsensical about individuated karma and samsara, knowing and glad that the garden will persist longer than he will.

Fiction

Red Sky At Night

On the afternoon of April 5, 1919 in Sugars Spring, Arkansas, the Sugars Spring men’s baseball team, boasting three of the best hitters and the very best pitcher in both Hamstead and Harwell counties, played the coloreds of Chickenham. For practice, and for fun. And because the Hope Cougars, not wishing to blemish their record, sent word by Wilbum Mott, the mail carrier, that they were down with the fever. They laid out the diamond in Amos Henry’s cow pasture as they didn’t want to scratch and scar their new field between the school grounds and the church on the ridge. And they didn’t want to play in Chickenham — though Lincoln Bradley, who owned the Chickenham store and an automobile, told them they were most assuredly welcome — because somehow it didn’t set right being hosted by coloreds. So they settled on Amos Henry’s cow pasture in the valley. Henry’s was the last white house, if you didn’t count the Ardis Young shacks, before getting into colored town — which the locals called Chickenham and the coloreds called Bethel — but which was part of Sugars Spring, tax-wise and voting-wise.

The Acts Of Father Mark

Father Mark once instructed his congregation, “if you have a mirror, replace it with a portrait of Christ. You will begin to see Christ where you now see yourself. Your concern for your face will be replaced by a concern for your soul. You will grow to be like Christ until his portrait is an accurate reflection.” Father Mark followed his own instructions, which is why he often appeared unkempt.

The Apple

My father looked healthy on the day of his death. His face was radiant; there was light in his eyes, his cheeks were ruddy.

Readers Write

Shyness

Back in the days when I used to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, I never thought I was shy. Shyness was for other people, for sissies, for wimps, for people who couldn’t cope, not for tough guys like me. But after I stopped smoking and drinking, I suddenly discovered that I was a shy person. Beneath all my boozy bravado, I had always been shy. Without the old props I was lost. I was painfully self-conscious, timid, anxious, and scared.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

Be natural in your meditation. Use up your own stock of piety and love before resorting to books. Remember that our God prefers the poverty of our heart to the most sublime thoughts borrowed from others.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

More Quotations ▸
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