I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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A few years ago — uncertain about the direction The Sun should take, out of money, low on faith — I got some wonderful advice from my friend Karl Grossman: “Just keep doing it.”
It didn’t answer my questions, or particularly inspire me, but I’ve repeated it to myself many times since. It’s a no-frills mantra, it’s “higher understanding” pared to the bone, and it applies equally to putting out a magazine or washing dishes or building the city of God. The basics are the same. Doing it means doing it. Not getting sidetracked, by anyone else’s propaganda, or by your own. It helps me to pay attention to the details, to face down boredom rather than run from it (there are doors up and down the hall, the hall is attention, and the doors take me into myself), to work not “at a job” but from necessity. There is necessary work — necessary personally and socially, different for each of us.
Is The Sun necessary? I think so — otherwise we wouldn’t have made it to our fifth anniversary issue. What’s most necessary about the magazine is its spirit of openness, its thrust beyond those limits the mind calls real. Thus, what’s left out — labels, jargon, cultish adoration — is as important as what’s put in. There’s enough clutter in our lives. Preserving the wilderness on the planet isn’t enough; we need to nourish the wide open spaces in our hearts.
There’s a visual openness in this issue, thanks to Richard Joste, our new Art Director, who grew up in the wide open spaces of California. His attention to detail, and his creative energy, show on every page.
In keeping with the spirit of change, we’ve sold our press and have switched to a more economical method of production, having the magazine printed for us on a web press, on different paper. Right now, a couple of days away from the actual printing, we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We want The Sun to look good as well as say something worthwhile. We’ll keep doing what we can to harmonize the medium and the message.
You do what you can. Show the magazine to your friends. Subscribe, if you haven’t already. Give The Sun as a gift. We need your support. Without it, we wouldn’t have made it this far. And there’s so much farther to go.