Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"The Sun" magazine

The magazine "The Sun" is a really excellent journal of writings that range from interviews to poems to essays to short stories. I am on my third issue and happily am devouring it, as I have the previous two.  There are no ads in this little periodical, which is refreshing, and  there are wonderful black and white photographs, the kind that harken back to the 50's and Life Magazine, which made my day each month when it arrived. The Sun has been around for a long time and has acheived enough success that there are several bound volumes available for sale that are collections of its "best."  In addition to the Letters to the Editor, there is another section in which the readers are invited to address topics (predetermined by the editors) for inclusion in upcoming issues.  In the March issue, the topic was "The Last Time", and the essays ranged from memories of lost loved ones to "the last time I took drugs." Surveying them, I was struck by the nostalgic tone of most of them, and of the very words, " the last time." 
The last page of the Sun is devoted to quotes and literary excerpts, also contributed by readers, and is entitled "Sunbeams."  As many will attest, any publication worth its salt has a good back page; remember the last photo in Life (what was it called? Last Laugh?) , and "Postscripts" in The Saturday Evening Post?
Anyway, here I found this quote, which seems to dovetail nicely with the"last time" idea:

"We get to think of life as an inexhaustible well.  Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really.  How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it?  Perhaps four or five times more.  Perhaps not even that.  How many more times will you watch the full moon rise?  Perhaps twenty.  And yet it all seems limitless.  --Paul Bowles

If there is anything that is hallmark of the human being is that we seem to have absolute faith in our ability to keep returning to that which pleases us, whether it be a favorite movie, a shopping trip, a dog-eared beloved book, friends who we have let slip away who we keep forgetting to call. We even complain about the repetitiveness of it all, don't we? 
And yet, aren't our days filled, every one of them, with fresh and new moments that will never come again in exactly that same way?  Does the secret of a greatly satisfying and interesting life lie in our ability to see the absolute originality of every experience, no matter how repetitive they may sometimes seem?

If you are interested in The Sun, they have a great website-http://www.thesunmagazine.org.
Check it out, but then, go to Reader's World and buy the rag itself. There is no substitute for the way it feels and the sound of the pages turning as you read. and you can tuck it under your arm and find a tree to sit under and read it. Spring is here, and who knows how many more times you might have the chance?


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