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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Righteous Babe

Ani DiFranco On Music, Politics, And Staying Independent

You have to practice tuning out the noise of the culture to hear the messages transmitted from your gut and your heart. You have to become like a bird-watcher and be vigilant and develop the skills to spot and name the quick flash of awareness in yourself.

Two Ways Of Knowing

Robin Wall Kimmerer On Scientific And Native American Views Of The Natural World

I prefer to ask what gifts the land offers. Gifts require a giver, a being with agency. Gifts invite reciprocity. Gifts help form relationships. Scientists aren’t comfortable with the word gifts, so we get ecosystem services instead. These terms arise from different worldviews, but both recognize the way the land sustains life.

Embracing Ignorance

Jack Miles On His Path From Belief To Disbelief And Back

We’re all stuck with ignorance as we move from quandary to quandary. What I want to do is make a case for religion as one of the means to cope with this irremediable human condition.

The Kids Are All Right

David Lancy Questions Our Assumptions About Parenting

Parenting trends are less about what’s good for the child and more about parents’ need for affirmation. The message of my work is that parents have far less impact than they think they do.

The Miracle In Front Of You

Raymond Barfield On Practicing Medicine With Compassion

You have to notice beauty when it appears. That means you have to show up and shut up. If I could give just one piece of advice to all medical students, I would say, “Show up completely, and then shut up for at least two minutes while the miracle in front of you tells you who they are and how you can help them.” If every doctor did just that one thing, it would change medicine.

Great Expectations

Jennifer Senior On Modern Parenthood And Its Discontents

I was amazed to read about the New York City newsboys’ strike in 1899, which ultimately improved conditions and raised wages. You had these armies of seven-, eight-, and nine-year-olds bringing the entire newspaper business to its knees. They organized and won. Today we don’t even let our nine-year-olds go on the subway by themselves.

The Geography Of Sorrow

Francis Weller On Navigating Our Losses

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give.

It’s Her Choice

Katha Pollitt On The Struggle Over Abortion Rights

If one in three women has had an abortion, you can’t really talk about it as some rare practice indulged in only by particularly evil women. . . . What do you do with that one-third of women? . . . Put them in prison?

The Church Of The Gridiron

Steve Almond On How He Lost His Faith In Football

 So, yes, the NFL and NCAA have instituted stiff penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits and even redesigned kickoffs to reduce high-speed collisions. But, again, all of this only helps limit concussions. The problem is that the permanent brain injuries arise in part because of those subconcussive hits, the ones players receive nearly every single play, and there’s no way to engineer those out. The tackle will always be part of the game.

As We Lay Dying

Stephen Jenkinson On How We Deny Our Mortality

At every deathbed and hospital room, I didn’t see sane dying. I saw sedated dying, depressed dying, isolated dying, utterly disembodied dying. Sane dying would require a childhood steeped in death’s presence, an adulthood employed in its service, and an elderhood testifying to its necessity. Sane dying is a village-making event: lots of people with plenty to do, the whole production endorsing life.