Issue 349 | The Sun Magazine

January 2005

Readers Write

Hero Worship

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, family members, Wonder Woman

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2005

I spied you once when you thought you were alone, when all the money-boys and patriots were off somewhere making jokes at your expense. I saw you rise from the bed and stand by the window. You were naked. You were beautiful. O America, I couldn’t turn away. You closed your eyes and shook your head as if to keep from weeping. And then, America, you started singing.

By Sy Safransky


Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials, or none at all.

Gerald W. Johnson

The Sun Interview

Sitting In The Fire

Pema Chödrön On Turning Toward Pain

The first noble truth of the Buddha is that people experience dukka, a feeling of dissatisfaction or suffering, a feeling that something is wrong. . . . only in the West is this dissatisfaction articulated as “Something is wrong with me.”

By James Kullander
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

No Such Thing As A True Story

In Taoism there’s a famous saying that goes, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the ultimate Tao.” Another way you could say that, although I’ve never seen it translated this way, is “As soon as you begin to believe in something, you can no longer see anything else.”

By Pema Chödrön
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

When This Is Over

When this is over, I’m going back to the West Coast. I’m going to find a cheap, humble house near the beach, get an old dog — maybe a retriever of some sort from the pound — and take long, thoughtful walks every morning at sunrise.

By Sherri L. Hopper
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Willing To Die?

A body lies in the middle of a dirt road near where we live, tennis shoes poking out from under the cardboard and branches laid over it, flies buzzing around. Political demonstrations spin out of control as pro-government gangs swoop in with clubs and guns.

By Kent Annan
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Good Life Revisited

For reasons I will never know for certain, my ex-husband and I were among the few people to whom Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of the back-to-the-land bible Living the Good Life, decided to sell part of their Maine farm.

By Jean Hay Bright


My stomach lurched because I realized that Carl looked like his father, and therefore would not become handsome. He would never escape the prison of his ugliness. I hated Mr. Leach for destroying the beauty of Carl’s face for me.

By Theresa Williams

My Sister, The Writer

My sister is a writer. She writes terrible things about me. She thinks she is telling the family secrets, but we all think she’s hysterical.

By Jenny Bitner