Issue 503 | The Sun Magazine

November 2017

Readers Write


A secret date, a lonely retirement, a child’s first drink

By Our Readers
One Nation, Indivisible

November 2017

Featuring Pico Iyer, Starhawk, Sister Joan Chittister, Sparrow, Sy Safransky, and more.

The Dog-Eared Page

For Eli Jacobson

There are few of us now, soon
There will be none. We were comrades
Together, we believed we
Would see with our own eyes the new
World where man was no longer
Wolf to man, but men and women
Were all brothers and lovers
Together. We will not see it.
By Kenneth Rexroth


We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

Iris Murdoch

The Sun Interview

From Here To Eternity

William Richards On The Transformative Potential Of Psychedelics

I was outside of time. Awe, glory, and gratitude are the only words for what I experienced.

By Mark Leviton
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

As If To Say

If I need to ask my father a question, I ask my mother. I’ve always done this, to get around the fact that he and I hardly speak. It’s not that we have nothing to say. We just don’t know how to say it. He doesn’t speak English very well, and I don’t speak Spanish very well, so neither of us is even going to try.

By Michael Torres
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Dragon Pants

In 2001 I was twenty-four years old and visiting Paris when I bought a really great pair of pants. They were red and silky and had dragons and Chinese symbols embossed on them and cost only sixty francs, which wasn’t a lot, about eleven dollars. I bought them on the street from some hippie Romanian woman. (I don’t actually know where she was from, but she seemed Romanian.)

By Carrie Knowlton
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Telling Time

We rent a condominium together, my eighty-six-year-old widowed mother and I. Sometimes she summons me from her bedroom at the end of the hall. I have learned to guess from her tone what it is she wants.

By Philip Kelly
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Twelve-Hour Shift

I was home on fall break in my final year at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and I needed money to pay tuition, so I was working a twelve-hour shift with my father at the ceiling-tile factory.

By Doug Crandell

A Few Personal Observations On Portals

The first portal that appeared in town belonged to Mr. Hogan. It showed up in one of his bathrooms above the sink, blocking a good deal of his vanity mirror and causing several shaving accidents. I don’t know why the portal appeared to him. It’s not like he was the type to attract otherworldly things.

By Debbie Urbanski

A Stranger Visits

A man in clothes the shape of sleep / pushes his battered bicycle, / wire baskets front and back, / halfway up the drive and stops.

By Scudder Parker

My Father’s Hammer

After he died, my mother gave me his toolbox, / saying he would have wanted me to have it, / the hammer kept inside as if in a little grave.

By John Hodgen

Grief Runs Untamed

In one hand the exiles hold a bundle / with a blanket, medicine, and a comb; / in the other, a door handle. / They attach it to every mountain and wall, / hoping the handle will conjure the door / that will open and let them in.

By Agnieszka Tworek