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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind


Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2008

My daughter Mara is getting married next week — my daughter who is in her thirties now, not her twenties; not a teen; not a young child crossing the street for the first time; not an infant I rock in my arms at 3 A.M., too tired to think straight, the sleepless nights stacked up like planes in a holding pattern, the pilots growing drowsier and drowsier. Wake up! She’s getting married!



There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

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Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Before She Sends It

I dreamt that I was in London, offering my business card to English women in exchange for a hug. They seemed pleased to hug an American; I was satisfied with the arrangement, too. Then I met a woman who was visiting from North Carolina. I didn’t come all this way to hug someone from North Carolina, I thought. But I gave her my card, too.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2007

If I sit here waiting for the perfect sentence to show up, I’ve got a long wait ahead of me. Maybe the perfect sentence doesn’t want me to wait. Maybe the perfect sentence is tired of one-night stands with writers who fall in love too easily, who can’t be trusted to stick around when the perfect sentence turns out to be not so perfect after all.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

May 2007

I inadvertently stepped on my cat Nimbus in the dark this morning. I’ve already apologized, and she doesn’t appear hurt, but I feel as if I’ve started the day by invading another country. Would a jury of my peers convict me for such a careless act?

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Good Day

On the bedside table is a card with a picture of a sunflower on it. Inside, my mother has written in her elegant cursive: “Decide to wake up each day with a smile.” Each word is underlined individually. It takes courage, I think, for a mother to write that after her son — my brother — has committed suicide.

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