Issue 452 | The Sun Magazine

August 2013

Readers Write


A packing-box playhouse, baseball cards, balls of ice

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

Honoring Aggression

In your society, and to some extent in others, the natural communication of aggression has broken down. You confuse violence with aggression and do not understand aggression’s creative activity or its purpose as a method of communication to prevent violence.

By Jane Roberts


All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.

Marshall Rosenberg

The Sun Interview

Keep Off The Grasslands

Mark Dowie On Conservation Refugees

I do think conservationists are starting to realize that any land worth conserving — because the biological diversity is high, the soil is fertile, and the original endemic species are still there — exists only because native human populations have been good stewards of it. The trick is to preserve the land and leave the stewards there.

By Joel Whitney
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Fifty-Minute Hour

Five minutes into the first therapy session of my life, and I’m already agitated that I won’t have time to tell this therapist what he needs to know about me — or, worse, that I will have time to tell him, and he still won’t get it. I explain again that I’m not looking for someone who’ll give me pep talks to build my self-esteem or offer behavior-modification exercises.

By Lad Tobin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Hour And The Day

I remember clearly my grandmother’s eyes on the day she became trapped between a world of knowing and a world of confusion. She was sitting at the dining-room table in my mother’s house. My three children were poised above coloring books and other art supplies like tiny soldiers, following the orders of the day.

By C.J. Gall
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


When I was sixteen, I worked at an all-you-can-eat buffet as the roast-beef carver. The restaurant manager taught me how to use a sharpening steel to give my carving knife a razor’s edge. I held the metal rod at an angle and then brought the knife down and across it. The blade sang as it came off. After a few strokes on one side, I would hone the other.

By Bruce Holland Rogers
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Dawn And Mary

Early one morning several teachers and staffers at a Connecticut grade school were in a meeting. The meeting had been underway for about five minutes when they heard a chilling sound in the hallway. (We heard pop-pop-pop, said one of the staffers later.)

By Brian Doyle
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Losing The Trail

Her face registers that frightful blankness I’ve come to know too well during her slow descent into dementia. For her, is it winter? Is it yesterday? Is it now? “I was following these flowers,” she says. “Somebody’s planted them all along this road. See?”

By Michael McColly

Victory Forge

He is six years younger than you, and, although he’s over six foot now, you think of him still as “the boy.” He takes to the military quickly, memorizing the Soldier’s Creed, believing the army religion that all things can be improved.

By Elizabeth Eslami

Show Business

It was raining outside and cold; we were in the middle of a dark November on the Lake Plains of New York State. Inside the movie theater I was drunk on cheap beer, and you were holding me.

By Christian Zwahlen

The Fox Skull

My middle girl found it long after the crows / had picked away the eyes, the gums, / the supple stretch of tongue

By John Bargowski

The Bugs Of Childhood

Don’t you remember them, the furred legs / of a caterpillar moving along your arm, each follicle / prickling beneath their touch?

By Danusha Laméris

No Day At The Beach

It’s no day at the beach / being me, I said. / It’s no walk / in the park. / I can see that, / she said.

By John Brehm