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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Global Depression

Global depression, I could call it in clinical jargon to indicate the pervasive nature of the disorder in the psyche. But lately the term has taken on a new meaning for me, suggesting a worldwide malaise shaped by the unconscious link between our suffering and the wounds the earth itself sustains. It seems as if the degradation of nature has produced a dark, subliminal undertow affecting the collective psyche.

Drinking The Rain

Then suddenly the dull light in the car began to shine with exceptional lucidity until everything around me was glowing with an indescribable aura, and I saw in the row of motley passengers opposite the miraculous connection of all living beings. Not felt; saw. What began as a desultory thought grew to a vision, large and unifying, in which all the people in the car hurtling downtown together, including myself, like all the people on the planet hurtling together around the sun — our entire living cohort — formed one united family, indissolubly connected by the rare and mysterious accident of life.

Everything I Thought Would Happen

In July 1971, my father’s heart exploded, and, faced with a comfortless, parent-snatching universe, I said to my husband, “We need to move out of this city. I’m afraid of becoming one of those assholes who wear aviator sunglasses and scream at cabdrivers.” In fact, I already was one of those assholes and had been for quite some time.

The Train To Westchester

When I was a child, raised less than twenty miles from Manhattan, the city was mysterious to me, and dangerous. It was the edge of the world from which some people accidentally — and sometimes not so accidentally — fell. I knew, for instance, the worst thing that could ever happen to a young boy like myself was to let go of his mother’s hand or the back of her coat in Macy’s, Penn Station, or the subway.

This Land Is Your Land

Not surprisingly, they resisted encroachments on their land, first by the Spanish, and later by Americans. Navajo raiding parties regularly made off with the settlers’ horses and livestock, but the Americans kept coming — encouraged by a government that believed in its “manifest destiny” to occupy the entire continent. Finally, in 1864, U.S. Army General George Carleton — who called the Navajos “wolves that run through the mountains” — ordered Colonel Kit Carson to get rid of them.


Selected Stories

I have discovered that by using a very long straw, I can drink soda from my neighbor’s apartment.

Hats And Veils

Vadim felt the wind-borne particles of water bursting in the hazy sunlight. He breathed the firs’ musty aroma and remembered Bosnia’s mountain pines above his red-tiled house, and the day Serb soldiers had firebombed the forest and his house had burned in high-explosive flames.


Marie loved the sun so much, she got skin cancers from it, which she perversely believed only the sun would help. Doctors periodically scraped or burned the cancerous cells off her face and arms, leaving her to hole up in her trailer for weeks listening to the radio until they healed.

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

Readers Write

The City

Open-mike for poets, a small toy xylophone, a six-foot submarine sandwich

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


The present is like a doomed princess, elegant and inexpressibly beautiful.

Robert Grudin

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