0 Items

The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

From The Honey Pot

An introductory note: I’m not a gourmet, a nutritionist, or a professional cook — just someone who’s tried to prepare food and feed people with love for about ten years. So don’t take my advice for more than homey suggestions or my recipes for Julia Child creations. I’m also a vegetarian (more about that in future columns) and a Capricorn (for those who are interested) and a well-loved wife and mother. This column is not meant to substitute for books such as Diet for a Small Planet or The Joy of Cooking, but I hope it will flavor your day with a fresh view on what we eat and what we become because of what we eat. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Tabula Rasa

I entered John Umstead Hospital (Butner), on, or around the 13th of March, 1975.

Goodbye, Patriarchy!

It’s like the French Revolution. One by one, prominent men are wheeled out to the guillotine and dispatched. Of course, the present-day “deaths” are metaphorical. Garrison Keillor is still alive, just out of sight. But “Garrison Keillor,” the charming, folksy, self-deprecating Midwestern humorist, is dead.

Hospital Runs

On my very first hospital run I picked up this long-faced, country white guy who’d survived seven surgeries in the last five years. He looked to be late eighties, all but dead, but friendly in a half-deaf way.

Last Lecture

Recently I was invited to give a special lecture at the university where I teach. I accepted the invitation though, contrary to what my sons might tell you, I don’t really like to lecture.

Another Appetite

The air has cooled and somehow smells different. The garden has calmed down and the sun is setting further south. The kitchen is no longer the furnace it was in August and people like me get the urge to create some hot and hearty concoction to nourish those who sit down at our table.

Tabula Rasa

I have a question (many as a matter of fact). I find that asking questions is the first activity of the awakened other. This other — the awakened stranger, the child of Self — is helpless and vulnerable as an infant curled, before the cord’s cut, lying on the curve of the mother’s belly. Once the cord is cut, the first breath (in or out? the question is enormous) having been delivered, the other is seeded, like a grain of sand in an oysterling, waiting for the moment when the flesh becomes aware and begins to create the pearl of wisdom.

Another Appetite

That’s one way to nourish one’s mind and body, and for most Americans today it’s considered the best way. Fill the belly with meat, potatoes, Big Macs, shakes, cokes, coffee — keep stuffing it in. And if there’s no food about chew gum, smoke a cigarette. And words are the food for the mind — no matter if they are empty; keep the noise coming in. Music, too, has become meaningless background filler to keep the mind feeling “full.” Our sounds are as nutritious as our food, and it’s no wonder so many eyes around us seem dead behind their dark glasses.

Shelter: an introduction

When we hear that half of Guatemala’s population is homeless because of the recent earthquake, our usual questions about shelter — whether to live in town or in the country, in an apartment or a farmhouse— are thrown into sharp and disquieting perspective. The cruel irony of so many Americans on diets in a starving world is paralleled by our indulgence in revolutionary new architectures (everything from ecologically questionable domes to the towering monstrosities of the World Trade Center in New York) in a world where “home” can be anything from an abandoned car to a refugee tent. We may be indignant about hollow doors in new houses, built by carpenters forbidden by their unions to use a hammer heavier than fourteen ounces (which might speed up construction and make some union men expendable) and paid for by 30-year mortgages whose accumulated interest comes to twice the value of the house. But all this means about as much to a family living on the streets of Calcutta as the price of a Rembrandt to a blind man. Shelter is relative; there is no right dwelling, except what’s right for the individual.