Issue 284 | The Sun Magazine

August 1999

Readers Write

Cats And Dogs

Pills blessed by the Dalai Lama, Charlotte’s secret, bodies at the bottom of the freezer

By Our Readers


I tend to be suspicious of people whose love of animals is exaggerated; they are often frustrated in their relationships with humans.

Camilla Koffler

The Sun Interview

Foot Soldier

The Long Walk For Justice And Peace — A Conversation With Satish Kumar

The central realization that pulled me away from monkhood was that there is no escaping from life; the spirit has to be practiced in the everyday world, and not outside of it. The world is beautiful — the earth, the land, the people — and you have to accept even pain and suffering as part of that beauty. That realization threw me into the social, political, economic, cultural arena. It convinced me that wholeness of life is paramount.

By Derrick Jensen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Excerpts From Path Without Destination

Possessions are signs of status, success, position, and power. It’s no wonder that our modern society has been called the consumer society. Unlimited economic growth has become the ideal of every nation in the world. In order to achieve such growth, we have destroyed lives, families, the social fabric, and our relationship with the natural world. We have passed the point of increasing human well-being by increasing material wealth.

By Satish Kumar
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Man Who Hated Dogs

After all these years, my father’s rich, deep voice still filled me with a mixture of fear and awe, even over the telephone, “I don’t know why you people want a dog,” he said. By “you people,” he meant not just me and my husband, but everyone everywhere who has ever had the slightest inclination to get a dog.

By Donna Cornachio
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ursa Minor

Nobody could remember a time when there had been so many bears in the valley, not even the old-timers who had lived there all of their lives. It was early fall, and the weather was turning. We’d had the worst summer of fires in many years, and endured our ninth year of drought. In the high country of Idaho, the berry bushes were brown, and the streams had dried up. Hungry and facing the prospect of winter, the bears began moving down into the valleys.

By Judith Freeman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Love, Work, Hope

For the novelty of it, I had agreed to work construction for a day with my brother Neil. I was kneeling on a roof, driving a nail into a piece of plywood, but after each hit, the nail went crooked and fell out. I began to get discouraged. Neil, standing nearby, instructed me to “pound harder.” So I did, but I still couldn’t drive it straight. My shoulders collapsed, and I wriggled in babyish frustration. Neil took two steps toward me, kissed me directly below my right ear, and knocked the nail in with one swing. And I thought, I want a man like that.

By Jennifer Thomson


Ordinarily, Marko Sakic walked the five blocks to work at his grocery store on the Street of Proletarian Brigades in Nizograd, Croatia, but these days he drove, because he didn’t want to face his neighbors in the streets. Croatia had recently declared its independence from Serb-ruled Yugoslavia, and, as a Serb, Marko didn’t know what this meant for him. He wanted to be inconspicuous.

By Josip Novakovich

A Dog Named Hopi

I tried to tell myself that he only wanted to rape me. I thought of all the women down through the ages who had been raped and silently asked for their help. I asked their spirits to hover over us and lighten the dark corners of this man’s mind.

By Sybil Smith