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Want inspiration? Want inspiration on a consistent basis? Want inspiration that you can hold in your hand, return to when you need it, and look forward to when it, like clockwork, comes to visit you again and again?
Today I want to share something with you all as dear as any close friend I have: The Sun Magazine. At just under fifty pages each month and totally ad-free, it is hands down the most inspiring and heart-felt publication I know of. Each month, it arrives unexpectedly in my mailbox. And each time I feel as though I’ve been sent a precious gift from a close frient. The themes contained within and the raw, provocative words and black and white photographs from the many talented contributors always resonate deeply with some aspect of my life.
As I’ve said many times before, creativity is our natural state. It is not something we need to build up but rather to uncover and rediscover again and again. The creative success of the magazine and its founder, Sy Safranski, a man who makes just enough money to keep the publication solvent, lies in its ability to –month after month– get to the vibrant, pulsating, sometime bleeding, sometime burning heart of life itself.
The creative essence of the publication can be found each month in the table of contents. A quote from Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, it reads,
What is to give light must endure burning.
I had the great fortune to meet with Sy Safranski at a Sun Magazine writing retreat in Eselen in September 2007. More than anyone else, he conveyed to me the path-like quality of writing and the importance of doing what you love.
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Here is a Sun poem from a back issue as a sample:
by RUTH L. SCHWARTZ
This is what life does, as an act of great
though often misunderstood kindness — it brings us
over and over again to the same sorrows.
For instance, the same emergency room
where I crouch beside the gurney on which lies
someone I love whose face is dulled by pain. And life
says, Here you are again, and gently
pulls the outer leaves away,
like I do with the woolly plants called lamb’s ear,
the thickest, softest gray-green petals I can find,
so I can touch the dew held at the hidden center.
Or I could be the one on the gurney; it doesn’t matter.
Of course the dew at the center is love,
though it is also grief.
Of course it is only by touching it, not just with a finger
but with the entire self, exhausted, despairing, and willing,
that we can know they are the same thing,
ceaselessly making and remaking us
in every form that life would have us take,
so it can know itself through us, so we can know
a single thing — just one.
If you want to feel this world deeply, if you want creativity to be front and center in your life, get your subscription to The Sun Magazine today. I’ve given it as a gift to no less than ten people already and all of them have loved it.