The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: t kwing what comes next (Ursula K. Le Guin). Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards (Soren Kierkegaard). When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing (Tom Robbins). If brevity is the soul of wit, it may also be the soul of wisdom, as these short sharp nuggets from Sunbeams suggest. Derived from The Sun, the eminent monthly national literary magazine with a loyal readership of 70,000 people, Sunbeams features a selection of quotations for the aficionado of the form, the fan of the magazine, and anyone looking for an instant reminder of the beauty, power, and sheer complexity of the human spirit. Avoiding the familiar, the book contains pithy thoughts from a diverse group that includes James Baldwin, Mother Teresa, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rumi, and Victor Frankl, who survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Provocative and uplifting, the book respects both the glory and the heartache of being human.
Sy Safransky is founder and editor of the award-winning The Sun, published out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for more than three decades. A former newspaper reporter, he has published five anthologies from The Sun and is the author of Four in the Morning, a book of personal essays. He lives in Chapel Hill.