Issue 207 | The Sun Magazine

March 1993

Readers Write

A Perfect Moment

An intuitive decision, a trip to the park, a confluence of yellow

By Our Readers


There is a bird in a poem by T.S. Eliot who says that mankind cannot bear very much reality; but the bird is mistaken. A man can endure the entire weight of the universe for eighty years. It is unreality that he cannot bear.

Ursula Le Guin

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Homeless, But Not Crazy

Shortly after 1 a.m. recently, on-call in the psychiatric emergency room of a Boston hospital, I was asked to evaluate a homeless man, and in the process I confronted the limits of my professional empathy.

By Keith Russell Ablow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

At War With Ourselves

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty available now.

By Thich Nhat Hanh
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hero With A Thousand Faces

One of Bill Clinton’s favorite movies, according to the newspaper, is High Noon. It’s one of my favorites, too, a classic Western about a lone man standing up against evil. I watched it again the weekend before the inauguration.

By Sy Safransky


I take another drink and rouse slowly from the state I entered when I first rested the rifle across the wheel line. It is a state that I impose upon myself at such times, a suspension of thought in favor of impartial and necessary action.

By Hal Herring


It is Christmas Eve and I am visiting my dying father. He has been in bed since the robbery. The smell in his room is dark green, the odor of fermenting vegetables and flesh.

By Richard Messer

The Word

My parents, long accustomed to life without me, have developed a routine and a delicate family ecosystem that is interrupted by my visits. Daddy, sensing the imbalance caused by my presence, gets ornery and, according to Mama, “has ugly spells.”

By Donna Gershten

Present For Her

I’m in a shopping-mall restroom in California, where the roll of toilet paper is almost as big as a tire. Three more giant rolls are stacked on a sterile white shelf.

By Bonnie Maguire


Septimius and Barron, inseparable pair, make their way along the wide, tree-lined median strip, wading through ninety-five-degree heat.

By George Cruger

The Little Square

Sophia de Mello Breyner — Translated From The Portuguese By Lisa Sapinkopf