Issue 321 | The Sun Magazine

September 2002

Readers Write

The Phone Call

Matzo for Passover, extenuating circumstances, a bundle of dope

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

September 2002

My feelings change like the changing seasons. The trees will be bare soon and the darkness will call to me again. Miklós Radnóti: “Sometimes a year looks back and howls, / then drops to its knees. / Autumn is too much for me.”

By Sy Safransky


To be revolutionary is to love your life enough to change it, to choose struggle instead of exile, to risk everything with only the glimmering hope of a world to win.

Andrew Kopkind

The Sun Interview

Outside Agitator

How Darryl Cherney Set Out To Save The Redwoods And Ended Up Suing The FBI (And Winning)

A radical is somebody who goes out to the furthest edge of the debate in order to gain leverage with which to move the larger body of thought. If an ant wants to move an elephant, he has to move as far out onto the seesaw as possible. Then, through the laws of physics, he can move the great weight. That’s what activists do, only in a more psychological fashion. You go as far out there as you can in order to move society. The problem is that, once you’re out there, you’re perceived as an extremist and society is unwilling to embrace you.

By Greg King
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Doe

The scene did not look natural to me. A strong, healthy whitetail doe mired deep in Lowcountry pluff mud. Stuck just beyond the water’s reach, sunk to the base of her thick neck and the round of her haunch, she struggled to free herself.

By Charlie Geer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

What You Leave Is Yours To Leave

I hated my parents’ goats. I hated them because they were stupid and always looked at me as if it were for the first time. And that lack of recognition never changed, from the day they arrived until the night they saved my life.

By Christopher Locke
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


Most people thought Cynthia was crazy — and perhaps she was. Isn’t it crazy to park your car (a black 1958 Oldsmobile with a large, garish strawberry painted on the passenger door) anywhere you want to: on curbs, lawns, sidewalks? To sleep three hours a night and eat a stick of butter for dinner?

By John Rosenthal
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Love Of My Life

We are not allowed this. We are allowed to be deeply into basketball, or Buddhism, or Star Trek, or jazz, but we are not allowed to be deeply sad. Grief is a thing that we are encouraged to “let go of,” to “move on from,” and we are told specifically how this should be done.

By Cheryl Strayed

Lost In The War Of The Beautiful Lads

Three kids in a pickup truck. In a field. And Corrie in the middle. Her head on a shoulder. Another leaning against her. The three of them like a trio of knocked-over pins. One window shattered. Glass on their laps. An empty open CD case on Garrett’s knee. Corrie’s hand clutching a wilted moss rose so tightly the woody stem had split, leaving a thin gash across her tender palm.

By Adrianne Harun