Issue 286 | The Sun Magazine

October 1999

Readers Write

The End Of The Line

A jumper on the Bay Bridge, a last Christmas present, a drink of water

By Our Readers


Tell me what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

The Sun Interview

On The Flying Trapeze

Sam Keen Ponders How To Be Free

I think trapeze could provide an excellent liturgy for a new society. Our present public liturgies, like football and basketball, are a kind of ritualized violence. One side has to beat the other. In trapeze, men and women cooperate to create something of transcendent beauty. A great trapeze act is a kind of performance art. Like a Navajo sand painting, it shows you something of exquisite beauty that lasts only for an instant and then is gone.

By Scott London
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Catskill Sky Journal

Since I moved to Phoenicia, New York, the sky has become my main cultural influence. I can’t afford to go to the movies; I have no TV; I don’t like trees, or grass. So each morning I’m relieved to see the sky appear, with her curious, fresh ideas.

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

After The Stillbirth

Afterward, I walked in graveyards, clearing away trash and fallen branches. I pulled up weeds that obscured the names on old headstones, though most of the names I revealed meant nothing to me. I took special care with the graves of children.

By Gordon Grice

The Dead Boy At Your Window

In a distant land, a woman looked upon the unmoving form of her newborn baby and refused to see what the midwife saw.

By Bruce Holland Rogers

In Loco Parentis

For months afterward I had the sense that I was being questioned by reporters, or addressing a judge: For the record, Your Honor, the accident was not my fault. I plead not guilty. . . . And I was not in love with her!

By Gillian Kendall

Photographs By Bruce Horowitz

I was working at a youth center, introducing seven- to eleven-year-olds to photography, when someone told me about a carnival-supply store that sold cases of toy cameras for about a quarter apiece. They were called Banner cameras and were made of black and turquoise plastic. I had to tape up the backs to help the film advance.

By Bruce Horowitz