Issue 433 | The Sun Magazine

January 2012

Readers Write


The many uses of a box, seven cubes, guerrilla farming

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
The Sense Of Wonder

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength. . . .

By Rachel Carson
Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2012

It took twice as long as I thought it would, and it’s only half as good as I’d hoped, but the first draft of my book is finished. This morning our cat Zooey walked across my desk and vomited on the manuscript. My first bad review.

By Sy Safransky


Envy the kangaroo. That pouch setup is extraordinary; the baby crawls out of the womb when it is about two inches long, gets into the pouch, and proceeds to mature. I’d have a baby if it would develop in my handbag.

Rita Rudner

The Sun Interview

Oh Baby

Ina May Gaskin On The Medicalization Of Birth

There is an energy associated with labor and birth. Birth is holy and sacred. But you have to be respectful of mother and baby, or you’ll miss it. If we come to it with a sense of awe and treat the mother with kindness and respect, birth can be a truly spiritual, empowering experience.

By Pat MacEnulty
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Country Where You Once Lived

It starts when you’re thirteen, and those tight shorts make your crotch wet when you ride your bike. You like these shorts, the way they make you feel this new way: sexy. You fall asleep at night thinking about sex. You listen to songs that encourage you to think about sex, and you discover you can even think about it at church and in the classroom without anyone knowing, if you keep a certain demeanor and cross your legs a certain way.

By Sheryl St. Germain
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hold Everything Lightly And Nothing Will Hurt Us

I’m driving north on I-95. The asphalt rushes beneath my tires, and when the speedometer hits eighty, the steering wheel vibrates in my hands, this little sedan protesting. The trees along the interstate burn orange and gold, and the northern half of the East Coast stretches ahead of me. I’m driving north on I-95 in October, which means I feel like someone is dying.

By Heather Kirn Lanier
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


I wander off the basketball court, the pain rising and crinkling into stars. There are bits of garbled conversation, my own heaving breath. No blood that I can feel — but space, I need space, to be away from other bodies, to be alone in my own blood-heavy, throbbing body.

By Joe Wilkins

I Just Died

It’s summer, and I’m hearing my landlady’s pets more than I’d like to. She lives upstairs and told me when I moved in that her animals were quiet. Clearly I was a fool to believe her.

By Evan James


Heavy, wet snow all morning, then by noon / the clouds wrung dry, whipped away, / the sky so brilliant after the viewing / and graveside service for our youngest

By John Bargowski

Rocking Chair

I am nine years old, watching my mother nurse my new baby brother. She is sitting in the old rocker, humming a thin, sweet thread of a song.

By Alison Luterman