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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Physical Health

Fiction

A Good Idea

It seemed like a good idea when you saw him on the ledge, poised on the other side of the guardrail and staring down at the water. It was nighttime, or almost nighttime, daylight falling into a tailspin of dusk, and the road was empty, and you nearly didn’t see him at all. But when you did, you slowed your car.

Essays, Memoirs, and 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.

Photography

Underneath The Armor

Four months into their seven-month tour, the mostly nineteen- and twenty-year-old marines at Patrol Base Fires in Sangin, Afghanistan, had seen enough violence to permanently line their boyish faces. Two of their platoon’s men had been killed by improvised explosive devices [IEDs], one of them blown literally in two.

Essays, Memoirs, and 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.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Bruised

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.

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.

Fiction

Higher Learning

From his perch on a low bleacher in the college auditorium, Seth watches the girls cluster together, some still in their graduation gowns, hair hanging down their backs or clamped to their scalps. One holds a bouquet of bluish roses. She has thin lips, but her limbs are long and tan. Her friend, thick in the middle, wears a red tube dress that hoists her breasts up, displaying them like jellied eggs on a platter.