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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Plain And Simple: A Journey To The Amish

I had always devalued Hestia, the peaceful goddess of the hearth. I thought poor, dull Hestia, the ugly duckling goddess, was stuck by the hearth, while my favorites, Athena and Artemis, were out there in the world, slaying dragons. But when I learned that the Latin word for hearth is focus, something clicked.

Three Friends

This is what faith looks like when it is acted upon: the good and right way is followed no matter what happens, because those who follow it believe it is good and right; indeed, they follow it even when life is too hard to think much about the good and the right.

The Man In The Mirror

On the best of days, it’s a little like falling in love; like opening a stuck window inside yourself; like taking a drug — one that’s perfectly legal, dispensed by your own apothecary, your strange and marvelous brain.


Harper Screamed Again

Harper lost the Wheeler account. He felt it slip through his fingers like something warm and sticky, making a mess of everything. He spent the rest of the morning in Johnstone’s office, staring at the burgundy carpet as his boss leaned a finger into Harper’s face and raged.

Elmer Slow Bear

In a man of his size and complexion, however, many found the reserve unnerving. Mr. Cody, the history teacher, referred to him in private — with more than slightly nervous humor — as “My Bad Conscience.” Also, as “Doom.” Most people called him Elmer, and stayed out of his way.

Letting The Cat Out

Peter sprawls across the floor of my living room, which is also my kitchen and dining room, and talks to me about my life. He smells like alcohol swallowed too fast. The cat is under the coffee table, eyeing him with distaste.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write


From suicide; to prison; into the boards

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


As for conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I don’t think much of that.

Henry David Thoreau

More Quotations ▸
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