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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Visions Of The Possible

An Interview With Jean Houston

“When you befriend your own brain,” Jean Houston says, “a great deal becomes possible.” At forty-five, with more than twenty years of indexing such human possibilities behind her, Houston’s credentials are impressive. Since her early years as an off-Broadway actress, she’s been an archaeologist, an author, a behavioral scientist, an educator, and a cutting-edge explorer of latent human capacities.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Cousin Hans

The last time I played doctor with anyone, I mean really played doctor, it was with my sister Leslie. She was sort of a pill about it, if you want to know the truth: bossing me around, put your legs up, lean over, turn around — just like a real doctor. I didn’t enjoy it too much.

The Message Of St. Francis

This is the time for the celebration of the coming of the Christ. But instead of speaking of the Christ today, I would like to bring forward another figure who is termed a “Christian,” because I feel that he may better exemplify your own dilemma. Now who, and why?


Birds Don’t Get Well

Kenny sat thinking one day after they moved to the city where they lived on Palmwood Avenue, a brick street where sparrows seep-seeped washing themselves in the city dust by the curb. The house was a duplex and their home was upstairs, and below lived a family he did not like cause the man drank a lot and disturbed the peace. The house stood beside a great brick church, heavy and dark with age, which was A.M.E. and all its members were what his mother and father taught him to call colored, except when his father was short of temper over their Sunday singing and called them something else. Their singing was always marvelous to Kenny, sort of faraway loud and harmonizing with nothing in his life as he lay in his room Sabbath mornings with rejoicing voices next to his window, and through the heavy black-red brick wall not seven feet from his panes. (“If anybody asks you where I’m goin, I’m goin up yonder to be with the Lord.”)

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

Readers Write

My Favorite Joke

I grew up amidst a family who would have been completely at home as actors on the stage of the Yiddish theatre. They were a family who didn't know about moderation or calm; they preferred, instead, hysteria, drama and untamed excesses of emotion. The phone would ring, followed by screaming and wringing of hands. What was the phone call about? Possibly someone had died, but they reacted exactly the same way to a wrong number.Or,a gasp and a shout would come from the next room. They would emerge, wild-eyed, arms raised to Heaven. “Oy, vay! A curse on Columbus that he should discover America so that I could come here and see this!” What had they seen? A murder? No. Most likely, what had happened was that they had discovered a burned out light bulb. This heritage of mine is the reason this is my favorite joke:

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


As he told me about his plans, I listened but could not forget that he would not last the week. What folly to be talking of the future, of his future! But once outside, I could not help thinking that after all there is not much difference between a mortal man and a dying man. The absurdity of making plans is only slightly more obvious in the second case.

E.M. Cioran

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