Issue 401 | The Sun Magazine

May 2009

Readers Write

Moving In

An apartment swap; a furniture auction; Block 6, Barracks 4, Unit C

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from

After a period of cold fog had given way to sunny days brightened by late bluebells and cool, ripe blackberries, the winter suddenly set in. First, three days of bitter cold; then, as the cold abated, a fast, heavy snowfall.

By Hermann Hesse
Sy Safransky's Notebook

May 2009

Yesterday is gone. “Wednesday,” we called it. So far Thursday is looking a lot like Wednesday except for one obvious difference: Wednesday is no more. Wednesday has ceased to be. Yes, Wednesday is like the dead parrot in that Monty Python skit: Stiff. Bereft of life.

By Sy Safransky


I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?

Ronnie Shakes

The Sun Interview

The Science Of Happiness

Barbara Fredrickson On Cultivating Positive Emotions

In general the epidemiological data show that only 20 percent of Americans are flourishing. The rest are either languishing or just getting by. Maybe they remember a time in their lives when things were coming together easily; there wasn’t a lot of self-concern, self-scrutiny, or self-loathing because they were focused outward and contributing to the world. But now they’re just doing the minimum necessary to get by. This “just getting by” mode is not depression or mental illness. It’s merely people living lives of quiet despair. Upwards of 60 percent of the adult population feel like they’re going through the motions. It makes me want to share the news about this work and get people back to those times when they were flourishing.

By Angela Winter
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Dead Man In Nashville

Our first night in Nashville, a man died right in front of us on Broadway. My father was at the wheel, my brother was in the seat beside him, and I was in back with the window rolled down, taking in the musty, fertile smell of the South.

By Amanda Rea
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Thin Pink Line

In 1994 I was twenty-two years old and had just graduated with a literature degree from the University of California at San Diego. Though I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, I’d recently stood up on a surfboard for the first time and thought I might just have discovered my purpose in life.

By Krista Bremer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Boy Squared

My mind had a mind of its own, and over the top of the real world, my mind’s mind projected a world that to me was even more real. Creston Avenue — the street I lived on with my mother and my older sister, Asia — was two streets: one the way it actually was, and one the way it ought to be.

By Akhim Yuseff Cabey

A New Painting Of Marianne

I wasn’t my idea to call Marianne. I hadn’t talked to her since she’d shown up drunk on our porch one summer night and tried to kiss me in front of my wife. That was four years earlier, just before Jenny and I had moved from Phoenix to Tucson. Now we were back in Phoenix and looking to buy a house.

By Sam Wilson