The new book selection is not a book this time. It’s a magazine. I subscribe to the monthly magazine “The Sun“. My first introduction to The Sun was many years ago when my good friend Deborah gave it to me as a Christmas present. I read each issue cover to cover until the subscription ran out. After that I would occasionally buy an issue usually when I was traveling to read on the plane. Now with so much of my time spent reading and writing I have subscribed to the magazine once again. Every year I think about not re-subscribing as I struggle to find the time to read them each month. But my husband started reading them too and asked that I continue the subscription. So I do.
This magazine has no ads. No ads at all. It is a non-profit magazine based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is full of many styles of writing. Every issue has an interview, non-fiction writing, fiction writing, short stories, essays, poems, black and white photography and my favorite section; “Readers Write”. Each issue has somewhat of a theme that sews it together. For example, the September issue that I’m reading now has a racism, justice, prejudice theme. Each issue is thought provoking, educational, and gives the reader an intense feeling of empathy towards all human beings.
The interview for September is with American philosopher, political activist, social critic and author Cornel West who says in his interview; “……because nowadays it is rare to see a right-wing person and a left-wing person who live and respect each other and engage in dialogue. We live in a society where it’s all about the will to power, the will to dominate, the will to conquer. The change in the culture has a lot to do with the eclipse of integrity and honesty and decency, and the normalization of corruption, deceit and mendacity. It’s all about manipulating your political opponents to diminish them and show that they have nothing to say or contribute. People no longer have dialogue. It’s all monologue.”
I’ve always wanted to contribute to the Readers Write section. They list a theme and deadline each issue. “Equality” is due October 1 and “Beyond Belief” is due November 1. I never get one written or submitted. I clearly needed a challenge to get me on task.
So. I challenged my son and fellow writer to submit to the Readers Write section of The Sun every month and whomever gets published first has to take the other one out to dinner where ever they want to go. I’m choosing to go back to the all vegan restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan if I win.
Last month I submitted my story for the topic “Weight” in which I wrote about the weight of my backpack. This month’s topic is “Guest” and is due September 1. I’m going to write my submission now for my blog readers, starting in this next paragraph. I highly recommend “The Sun” magazine. You can find it online or at “The Good Food Store” in Missoula, Montana. To find more great reading recommendations check out my blog at Wild About Books.
She was a guest. Although, we didn’t know it at the time. She immersed herself into our lives full throttle. Her sad, yellow lab, puppy dog eyes melted our hearts and pretty much allowed her to get away with anything. Next thing we knew, she was not only allowed on the couch, but on the bed as well.
She would wear herself out chasing balls, chewing toys, chasing her tail and then fall asleep in our laps. Recharging to do it all again. We took her on small walks that got progressively longer every week. We took her swimming in the irrigation ditch. Camping. Floating the Bitterroot river in the raft. She spent most of her time exploring the property, free to come and go, in and out of the house through the dog door as she pleased. She brought in pinecones, sticks, deer bones, elk bones and one skull. She was high maintenance. She ate our underwear and socks, chewed our shoes, destroyed the plants on the deck as if we’d planted and cared for them for her exclusive enjoyment. She ate the pillowcases, ripped a hole in her dog bed, took the dish towels off the handles of the refrigerator and stove. If we had neighbors they would have heard the constant “No Ali…….NO Ali…….. ALI NO!”
She greeted us when we came home with so much unconfined puppy excitement, I thought she would explode. She was in love with us and we were in love with her. Her small walks turned into trail walks and those were her favorites. Running the trail, climbing up on rocks. Stopping ahead and looking back to see if I was coming. So much energy. So much fun.
I felt bad leaving her when I went to work. I would go in late. Take long lunches at home. Leave early. Sneak in on weekends when she napped to catch up. Juggling puppy and work left little room for anything else. But it was worth it. She was a beautiful puppy and I didn’t want to do anything else. I turned down day long trips on the Salmon river with friends who told me to bring her. But I was too worried. Too worried for my free spirited, high maintenance energetic puppy, to be in a dangerous situation of trucks and trailers and boat ramps. So we would stay home and torment the cat and laze on the deck. Nap and play and walk and swim. The life of a puppy.
It was the epitome of irony that I was the one to run over her. In her driveway. One hundred feet from her front door. The place she was safe. For almost two months she was our guest. Now she is gone.