Issue 454 | The Sun Magazine

October 2013

Readers Write


An unpaid bill, a meeting on the monkey bars, a trip to the bakery

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Ten Conversations At Once

The Dalai Lama climbed the ladder and entered the dome of this same Great Hum. Already five others had seated themselves. One of these was a highly developed lama who could sing three notes at once, each note carrying a different conversation. Another could carry on two conversations, and the other three could carry on only one. This meant that eight conversations were already taking place. Since the Dalai Lama could carry on two, his arrival completed the number of visitors allowed, and he closed the door after him.

By Pierre Delattre


They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.

Emily Dickinson

The Sun Interview

Something Missing In My Heart

Daniel Ladinsky On The God-Intoxicated Poetry Of Hafiz

To any fully enlightened soul there is only God, or divine light and infinite knowledge. Any perfect poet — and I feel both Rumi and Hafiz were — experiences existence non-dualistically. They live as one. I don’t think they would see any difference between themselves. Any difference we might see is due to our transitory and distorted perception. Rumi, Hafiz, you, me — these are just costumes that came to life when the Beloved wiped his lips with us for whatever drunk, wild reason.

By Andrew Lawler
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Already Falling

You think you can feel the peace in this room. A line from Matthew comes to you: “Forgive us as we forgive . . .” Something is happening here with the light and the birds and the wind outdoors: a transformation from despair to readiness. You call for your mother.

By Margaret McMullan
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Essay In Which My Uncle Eddy And I Attend His Funeral

I want to ask Uncle Eddy how it could possibly be that he is sitting in my car as we drive through Katonah, New York, on the way to Danbury, but sometimes in life you just roll with what’s happening and try to make sense of it after it happens.

By Brian Doyle
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

And So On

I always thought a kind of permanence awaited me in the future: I’d grow up, find my niche, and settle down. The questions of my youth would dissolve into a mature understanding of how the world works. But now I am a twenty-one-year-old woman fresh out of college with hazy goals of foreign travel and falling in love. A fear is roiling in me that I will never find peace and certainty.

By Lynn Davis
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

This I Believed

I believed, even as a child, that I was being raised up in the right way to live. My family attended the local Seventh-Day Adventist church every Saturday. I sang songs about David and Goliath, and I belted out that I was “too young to march in the infantry” or to “ride in the cavalry” or to “shoot the artillery,” but not too young to serve “in the Lord’s army.”

By Matthew Vollmer

Virtue Of The Month

I climb back in bed, rest my head on his chest. Spooned against the warm curl of his body, I feel the damp toads sleeping in the cave of my chest awaken. One by one, they hop away.

By Kathleen Founds

Kitchen Ghost

My husband killed himself in our kitchen, / a wide-open room with a forty-gallon barrel / of water standing close to the old woodstove.

By Teetle Clawson

Selected Poems

from “With That Moon Language” | Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to / them, “Love me.” / Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise / someone would call the cops.

Hafiz — Versions By Daniel Ladinsky

Twilight Meditation Without Dog

Late-afternoon light floods the darkening sunroom. / Looking out the window, not sad, not happy, I / and the ghost of my old dog breathe in, breathe out

By Mark Smith-Soto

Selected Poems

from “I Stand in the Doorway” | Sometimes when you say goodbye you know it’s goodbye for keeps. / You touch your lips to her cheek, or you squeeze his hand & walk off. / What else can you do?

By Steve Kowit