Topics | Compassion | The Sun Magazine

Topics

Browse Topics

Compassion

The Sun Interview

Unsheltered

Eric Tars On The Human Right To Housing

The Martin v. Boise decision stands for the very simple principle that punishing a homeless person for undertaking basic, life-sustaining activities like sleeping or sheltering themselves — when there’s no adequate alternative accessible to them — is cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

By Thacher Schmid January 2023
Poetry

At The Market

It’s Sunday at noon, and the open-air / vendors are planted in their usual spots — picklers / pressed against the outer edge while growers / forest the pathways with kale, collard greens, / and patches of lavender.

By Lori Romero January 2023
Photography

On The Streets Of San Francisco

Most days, within a block of my house in San Francisco, I’ll encounter someone who is unhoused. Since 2011 I have befriended and photographed unhoused people, and the experience has changed me in a way I never would have imagined. . . . One man said to me, “Most people see us as drunks, but you talk to us and see our humanity.” This is what I hope my photographs convey.

Text And Photographs By Joseph Johnston January 2023
Quotations

Sunbeams

It is hard to argue that housing is not a fundamental human need. Decent, affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.

Matthew Desmond

January 2023
Quotations

Sunbeams

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. . . . Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

October 2022
Poetry

Jump

Because my car is twenty years old / and the gizmo that goes ding ding ding / when you leave the lights on / has been busted for at least a decade, / I’m always contending with a comatose battery.

By Alison Luterman August 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Every Baby Needs To Be Rocked

I want to help carry the burden when it is heaviest. The dying patients and their families need time with a compassionate stranger: someone they don’t have to expend their fragile energy to try to support or protect.

By Barbara Woodmansee April 2022
The Dog-Eared Page

Riding Out At Evening

At dusk, everything blurs and softens. / From here out over the long valley, / the fields and hills pull up / the first slight sheets of evening, / as, over the next hour,  / heavier, darker ones will follow.

By Linda McCarriston February 2022
Fiction

The Other Side Of The Mountain

This was what it was like to do the work she did, to recognize the person in the dying body and to stay with them — like bearing witness to light moving through wreckage, stubborn and pure.

By Ruby Shaw July 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Quiet Room

She read a brief passage in a small, clear voice that will live on in my memory. Fluent in sounding out words she didn’t know, she gleaned tones from everyday verbs that I’d never dreamed they possessed, and conferred a strange new life on faded old nouns, as one might draw a hidden thread of some brilliant color from an old rug.

By M. Jones April 2021