Thursday, June 30, 2011

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: THE SUN MAGAZINE, POINT A TO POINT B, AND LOU ANN BARTON

The June, 2011 issue of The Sun
1. Do you all know of The Sun? "Personal. Political. Provocative. Ad-free," as it bills itself. Which translates into a somewhat eclectically mixed bag, one-man operation, the man being editor Sy Safransky (and his loyal staff), who started out peddling his labor of love on streetcorners and has now been at the helm for over thirty years.

From their website:

"The Sun is an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for more than thirty years has used words and photographs to invoke the splendor and heartache of being human. The Sun celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in its pages explore the challenges we face and the moments when we rise to meet those challenges.

The Sun publishes the work of emerging and established artists who are striving to be thoughtful and authentic. Writing from The Sun has won the Pushcart Prize, been published in Best American Short StoriesBest American Essays and , and been broadcast on National Public Radio.

The Sun invites readers to consider an array of political, social, and philosophical ideas and then to join the conversation. Each issue includes a section devoted entirely to writing by readers, who address topics as varied as Telling the Truth, Neighbors, Hiding Places, Second Chances, and Gambling."


The Sun is also one of the few more or less mainstream magazines that will publish straight-out Catholic essays. Plus they pay. Plus they've been very supportive of my work through the years. So I am grateful to them, and proud to say I have a piece in the July issue that I entitled "Metaxu," and that they changed to "Stuck with Fred."

Metaxu is a word much used by Simone Weil, who apparently got it from Plato, which means, roughly, that which both separates and connects. Weil illustrated the concept by means of the following: "Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but it is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link."

Which definitely describes my...volatile friendship with the late, great Alfred Leroy Davis III, to whom I've dedicated Shirt of Flame. So check out this groovy mag.

2. Overheard at a coffee shop: “Faith is not leaping from Point A to Point B. Faith is leaping from Point A.”

3. Watched a a 1964 black-and-white film called  I Am Cuba. Peasant sugar-cane farmer who is about to be ousted from the meager patch of land from which he ekes a precarious living muses, "I used to think the most frightening thing was death. Now I know the most frightening thing is life."

4. My friend Barbara (whose late, extremely colorful mother, "Annie," was a fixture for decades at the Fulton Fish Market) told this joke:

"One of the house rules of the Sisters of St. Joseph was that anyone who came to their door was to be given hospitality because that person might be St. Joseph himself come to test them. One day a novice was sent to answer the door and upon seeing the man who rang the bell, she slammed the door and ran to the Mother Superior.

She said, "Mother, I know our rule, but I am sure the man at the door is NOT St. Joseph. His nose is red and he reeks of alcohol." 

"Quick, let him in," said the head nun. "It must be St. Patrick."

5. Stargazer lilies: A medieval still-life in my room:


6. Why we must always keep the churches open:

A bitterly lapsed friend from the Village recently mentioned in passing that he'd been in St. Veronica's.

Me: "What were you doing in St. Veronica's?" 
Him: "Even my soul needs a little sustenance now and then. Even if it's only for 5 minutes and a $5 in the poor box."

7. A new find:


5 comments:

  1. nice blog... have a view of my blog when free.. http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

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  2. The Sun looks like a great magazine. Last night I visited and read a Thai man's moving tribute to his mother. Powerful stuff.

    David

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  3. This sentence alone would induce me to read The Sun:

    The Sun celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity.

    What a blessing to have that connection to Annie! Did you ever have the honor of meeting her?

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  4. No, I never got to meet Annie, but Barbara, a character in her own right, has her own chapter in Redeemed...hi there, Mr. Lonely, looks like you are doing fine with your blog, congrats...and yeah, David, The Sun always has at least one or two great pieces per issue. Their interviews (each issue has one) are almost always interesting...

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  5. Congratulations on the article.
    I was introduced to THE SUN by Bill Manville.

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