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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Renegade Priest

An Interview With Matthew Fox

For many, God is a forbidding patriarch unwilling to forgive us the episode in the Garden — an aloof being who got the ball rolling and now sits back with finger wagging. Matthew Fox has struggled to promote a radically different view, one that celebrates a God very much in the world, no farther away than the earth beneath our feet or the presence of a loved one.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Big Ideas

For a long time the whole idea of God is bewildering to a little girl, but in a dreamy and faraway fashion, you know him. Like the moon and the stars across the night’s long distance, you love and fear him. He watches you, you know this; whatever you do, he can see you. You feel shy before him, and exposed. You take off your clothes in a hurry, ask for bubbles in the bath.

The White Man’s Vision-Quest Journal

One of Plenty Coup’s “boys” (such a diminutive term!) picked me up at the Pierre, South Dakota airport, a minuscule patch of cement amidst the rolling plains. I was disappointed that Plenty Coup didn’t come himself; I have so many questions about the vision quest, the Sun Dance. And I wanted to share our past-life regression work and the news that I was an Indian in a previous incarnation!

Minding The Equipment

Downtown, in Emil’s Redwood Cafe and Burl Emporium, he is known among the locals as Joe Moccasins, but almost everybody in these parts knows that isn’t his real name. On the Oregon welfare rosters he is listed as José Ganchobianco, second-generation Mexican, and at the California Bureau of Native American Affairs as Joseph White Belt, Hoopa Indian. Some even have it that on the other side of the mountains he collects an unemployment check from the state of Nevada in the name of José Silva, naturalized Portuguese. Nobody’s been able to prove any of this so far, but then, nobody’s tried very hard.

Euclid’s Hell

During the Watergate summer of 1973, while Sam Ervin roasted Nixon administration witnesses, I worked as a roofer on a housing development in New Mexico. The days had an amazing sameness. The one-hundred-degree-plus weather held for weeks on end. Though there were six different floor plans for the housing units we were building, there were only two roof styles — one with a skylight and one without. The shingles were either light or dark brown. Each roof took two days to lay. Every measurement, every vent, and each piece of metal flashing was the same for the roof before and the roof that followed. The gravel-coated asphalt shingles were more arid and featureless than the surrounding desert. Every day a certain cloud formed over the same peak of the San Juan range. When it grew to the right size, I checked my pocket watch to confirm what the cloud had already told me: it was lunch time.

Secret Power

Arguing with N. again. Love fails like a recipe that wasn’t copied down right, some vital ingredient left out.


The Nosebleed

When the children were small and woke with fear in the night, they came into our room and stood breathing quietly by the side of the bed, waiting. They never waited on Dan’s side, but always on mine. After sensing them there — it usually took only a few seconds — I would open my eyes to a small, stationary blur. Seeing I was awake they would begin to speak in hushed and solemn voices, appropriate to the dark: “My ears hurt.” “There’s something under my bed.” “I think I’m going to throw up.” Or most commonly, “I had a bad dream.” Never allowed into our bed for comfort, they were, instead, led by one of us back to their own rooms, where we administered aspirin, cough medicine, or assurance that no, it wasn’t possible for anyone to be sitting outside the third-story window in the Norway maple, or yes, they were right, the water stain on the ceiling did resemble a giraffe with a derby.

Readers Write


When we moved to the new house in May of 1954, there were no trees at all in the front yard. My mother hired a big green truck and four muscly men to drive us deep into the nearby woods. The men shoveled, picked, and pulled for an entire day until my mother got what she wanted: three mature trees — a pin oak, a sugar maple, and a twenty-foot Dutch elm.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

Frank Lloyd Wright

More Quotations ▸
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