This is the fiftieth issue of THE SUN.
I say that with pride and weariness, each issue like a child conceived in joy, and born with protest and howl at the ungodliest hour.
Ungodliest? Surely, I mean just the opposite. At 2 a.m., the office still and the streets deserted, I can swim these waters with abandon, even drowning unmolested. Such is the lonely glory of editors, truckers, and cops. God is never so close as in the middle of the night. It’s no surprise that most people die between 3 and 6 a.m.
Birth, death — such grandiose metaphors, but sometimes all THE SUN is to me is a metaphor. That’s why I stubbornly, purposely, don’t define it. How better to suggest that we are, by nature, unlimited? That everything is metaphor? That drawing tight boundaries is to pen the spirit, which is boundlessly creative and defies definition?
I’m all for standards, neatness, and discipline; otherwise, the pages wouldn’t follow in sequence. But I remind myself that all our organizations — the great galaxies as well as our bodies — are temporary arrangements, common-law marriages of creativity to form. Some may endure for what seems like an eternity, but most of what we do has about as much permanence as the hula-hoop. So be it! There’s a Zen poem which goes:
The morning glory which blooms for an hour
Differs not at heart from the giant pine
Which lives for a thousand years.
When I was a child, the “theory of relativity” was explained to me by my friend’s father, while I impatiently waited for her to finish in the toilet. “It only seems like a long time to you because you’re waiting,” he said.
I latched onto the words of this closet Einstein as a profound truth — which it is. Thirty-four years old, I look back on a time that blinks in and out of existence; beginnings I can’t touch wind through me, touchless rememberings, endless dreams. I live them, bored or elated, time bending to me as light bends around a star.
I’ve come to understand that our ration of eternity awaits us not in Heaven. It’s here, now. The old man in me, the young boy, they’re benchmarks of a life, and they’re alive now.
When my equanimity deserts me, when the hour runs down, I try to remember that. When the bills pile up and the effort required to put out this magazine seems ridiculously herculean, I slip out the door of my Self and into a timeless place where I can start again: in dream, or reverie, or in the smile of a friend. In running my morning mile, or running my butt off to keep up with my kids. No time for it all, oh you faker time!
Happy New Year, everyone. May your million births and deaths carry you through to another.