I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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Cat Saunders was first published in The Sun in December 1990. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages.
What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.
Though we haven’t devoted the whole issue to the anniversary, we have allowed the section to grow beyond our original plans. After seeing the pieces, we felt that our readers would enjoy them as much as we did — for the information about the magazine’s history, for the glimpses into the writers’ lives, and (not least) for the quality of the writing.
Wild mind is the huge place where we really live. We are always listening to what I call “monkey mind,” which is constantly saying, “I can’t write, I don’t know how, I don’t want to.” But there’s this huge mind that’s available to all of us, where all things — animals, rocks, us — are interconnected and interpenetrated. This is what we have to connect with in order to write.
If I’d known as a child what I know now, I’d have become an environmentalist on the spot. I guess you could say that my childhood dreams led me first to help people in their individual environments — housing and health care, and things like that. But I ended up working to save our natural home.
From the Buddhist point of view, we have five hindrances: lust and greed; hatred and ill will; sloth and torpor; agitation; and doubt. That’s who we are, so why is one surprised if there’s suffering? But when you look at it from the spiritual point of view, you see that suffering is grace, a gift given in order to awaken you.