Issue 440 | The Sun Magazine

August 2012

Readers Write

The Internet

Mallomars, Virginia Tech, pen pals

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us

When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualize as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of our body and all parts of our psyche. A child running is a living globe of energy.

By Robert Bly


Life is bitter and fatal, yet men cherish it and beget children to suffer the same fate.


The Sun Interview

What Ails Us

Gabor Maté Challenges The Way We Think About Chronic Illness, Drug Addiction, And Attention-Deficit Disorder

Consider all the stresses of life in a society where people feel little sense of control and lots of uncertainty all the time; . . . where relationships are often troubled; where parents are not available for their kids because they’re too busy. Under such conditions, you’re more likely to get sick. Nearly 50 percent of American adults have a chronic illness.

By Tracy Frisch
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


The rooms were filled with the smells of food. The only sounds were those of the house slowly settling around us, and the birds outside in the walnut trees, and an occasional car going by on the blacktop road.

By Carolyn Miller
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Poor Sparrow’s Almanac

I vowed to write a new series of proverbs to counteract Franklin’s and free Americans from busyness and worry. My goal is to assemble an army of daydreamers.

By Sparrow
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


We checked out of the motel and ate breakfast in an old diner next to a gas station. Teresa ordered a child’s portion of pancakes, and they came with a whipped-cream smiley face. I ordered a skillet named after a World War II battleship.

By John Frank
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Let The Bad Times Roll

As Ochs delivered the song’s most incendiary lyric — “Serve your country in her suicide / Find the flag so you can wave goodbye / But just before the end even treason might be worth a try” — McCarthy threw his arms in the air, and the crowd erupted.

By Lad Tobin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Things They Googled

The things they googled were determined by forgetfulness, by need, by desire, by curiosity, and by the endless availability of information. In fact, there was no point in remembering anything except how to google.

By Marion Winik
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Of All The Mothers In The World

We carry in our bodies a whole host of hurts, of lonely nights, of tiny slights and insults, of guilt for the slights and insults we’ve inflicted on others. If you’re single, you carry the added weight, the secret shame, of knowing that you are first in no one’s heart. You walk the earth with billions of other people, and you are first in no one’s heart.

By Heather King

She Walked Out The Door

For some people life is effortless, like running as a child with no sense of the world turning beneath our feet. It is not that way for you. You will always be aware of the weight of your footsteps and the force of will required to move forward. Anger keeps you together, a mortar that begins to harden.

By Jennifer Mason-Black

Selected Poems

from “Wondrous” | I’m driving home from school when the radio talk / turns to E.B. White, his birthday, and I exit / the here and now of the freeway at rush hour

By Sarah Freligh


When the disciple who loved Him most / unsheathed his sword / and sliced off the right ear / of the high priest’s servant, / we all cheered and stomped the parquet floor / in that February classroom

By John Bargowski

E-mail Elegy

Dedicated to e-mails from Save Darfur, War Child, Africa Action, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Free the Slaves, AIDS Action, and Doctors Without Borders. | How quietly they land, / bits of global sorrow accumulating like snowfall / as I teach a class, attend a meeting, / make a cup of tea.

By Adrie Kusserow