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The Sun Interview

What The Universe Remembers

An Interview With Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake isn’t afraid to stir up controversy. Best known for his hotly debated theory of “formative causation,” the British biologist and author has been lauded as the new Darwin by some and vigorously denounced by others. In 1981 Sheldrake rocked the biological establishment with his book A New Science Of Life, in which he put forward his theory to explain how all systems — from crystals to living plants and animals to societies — develop and maintain their forms. The British science magazine Nature promptly declared his book “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years.”

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Crip Zen

Stricken with polio as a teenager and disabled for more than forty years, Lorenzo Wilson Milam isn’t embarrassed to call himself a Crip. “Crip,” he writes, “is the only word l have found over the years that contains the pith and vigor we need to describe our condition. It's no accident that the most powerful of the Los Angeles street gangs call themselves ‘The Crips.’ They’re born survivors.”

On The Bus

As the battered old bus gasps and wheezes up the bumpy, unpaved road, I clutch the seat in front of me and ask myself why we didn’t stay in that lovely hotel in San José, with its fountains and squawking parrot, its lace curtains and soothing ceiling fan, so much more soothing than the gears grinding beneath us on this steep, dusty grade. Jesus stares at me from his perch above the driver, a decidedly Latin-looking savior with a wild suntan and light emanating from his heart, and, if that’s not enough to ward off accidents, the driver has dangling above him a miniature soccer ball, and a fuzzy bear in a sock. I pay homage to each of them, not wanting to take any chances, not here on this mount ain ridge with sharp drop-offs on either side.



The first time we had Joe over, one spring evening some years ago, he lay on his gurney with his face positioned toward us. Because we were sitting, we could see his face at eye level. When we spoke, we looked directly into his eyes, not acknowledging the gurney, the sheets and straps, the tubes, and the hard silver rails.

The Room Where Sex Began

This room, a closet actually, measures six feet by ten feet. The ceiling is high in the center and slopes down toward a window. The walls are papered with big, red cabbage roses. Looking out the window, you see a filbert orchard, a child’s swing set, an old car resting on blocks. The view is distorted because the glass is cracked and wavy with age. The floor is wooden, the pieces joined tightly so there are no cracks. It is summer and the room is dusty and hot.

This Summer

My husband has told me that this summer he will retire. Right now he is in the library holding X-rays up to the light and dictating. I do not know how his secretary understands the things he mumbles. In our bedroom, through the wall, I hear only his endings — period, paragraph, salutation, document. And now, as I lie here listening, I imagine his final dictation: document, career, life. And that will be that.

Sister Of Kane

Allie stepped onto the slanted porch, and the wind swept into her shirt. The chill broke her out in goose bumps, but it felt better than the heat inside the frame house. Kane sat on the steps at her feet. In the twilight his hair looked darker, and his bald spot shone eerily. He was having his after-supper cigarette, the embers glowing bright in the wind. Allie leaned against a post, holding down her ballooning shirt with folded arms.

Readers Write


I am an artist, but I became a landscape gardener to make a living and give my two children what they needed. I was strong and learned quickly. I would work nine hours straight to get a job done right. I got a lot of satisfaction from my work, and I made good money for a woman with no education.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

Helen Keller

More Quotations ▸
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