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The Sun Magazine

The Dog-Eared Page

Transforming The Heart Of Suffering

In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.

The Optimism Of Uncertainty

There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.

A Marriage

You are holding up a ceiling / with both arms. It is very heavy, / but you must hold it up, or else / it will fall down on you. Your arms / are tired, terribly tired, / and, as the day goes on, it feels / as if either your arms or the ceiling / will soon collapse.

excerpted from
A Cat Named Darwin

The need for companionship of any sort is a human-species trait, and in the absence of a human companion, the mind grows like a vine around any living thing. The first time your mind grows around a cat, you do not realize you have fallen in love.

excerpted from
The Round Walls Of Home

We need to send into space a flurry of artists and naturalists, photographers and painters, who will turn the mirror upon ourselves and show us Earth as a single planet, a single organism that’s buoyant, fragile, blooming, buzzing, full of spectacles, full of fascinating human beings, something to cherish. Learning our full address may not end all wars, but it will enrich our sense of wonder and pride.

The Serpents Of Paradise

I finish my coffee, lean back, and swing my feet up and inside the doorway of the trailer. At once there is a buzzing sound from below and the rattler lifts his head from his coils, eyes brightening, and extends his narrow black tongue to test the air.

Three Little Events

But maybe it wasn’t a fluke. Maybe it was a crazy little peek behind the curtain, a dim little whisper of providence from the wings. I had been expected, I was on schedule, I was taking the right journey at the right time. I was not alone.

The Ledge

The boy did for the fisherman the greatest thing that can be done. He may have been too young for perfect terror, but he was old enough to know there were things beyond the power of any man. All he could do he did, by trusting his father to do all he could, and asking nothing more.

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