note to a friend:


found a new favorite short story:

“All That You Love Will Be Carried Away.”

(I hesitate writing the words in all caps, with their requisite punctuation before and after, as if I am capturing some kind of declaration or holy-bookish tenet of faith.  This story was not a declaration nor a pronouncement of required belief.  Rather, it read as the diffusion of life’s energy as it is destroyed by wind and prairie-snow, the entropy and dispersal of all that once was good but now lays crumpled like a child’s scrapbook caught moldering along the clay lining of the county landfill, years after the child himself has been sent to molder along the cement lining of his own earthen bed.  A wind’s whispering roar of all that was once good and now lays crumpled and moldering but, even crumpled and moldering, may still be golden if caught in the dust-burnt sunset at the time when even starling feathers are more fire and crimson than they are black.)

I needed something to send me to sleep tonight, and I saw that title “All That You Love…” and there was something to it.  Something from my sometime-taste of Flannery O’Connor (and her sometime-strange titles: “Everything That Rises Must Converge”) and maybe something that even linked her vague, unexplained titles to another vague, unfinished title-phrase as Things Fall Apart.  And so I opened the book to this strangely-named piece… A long time ago, I was drawn to Hemmingway’s Big, 2-hearted River, but this new one from Stephen King just laid me down.  It opened me up with some playful jabs – Midwestern winters and their own kind of howling haunt – and then laid me out with a haymaker so rapid that I didn’t even feel it.  All I saw was the blackness of the prairie night as I lay, bleeding soulfullness out of my ears and from the corners of my wounded eyes.  And the frigid yearning of the loneliest and most storied of wanderers – the traveling salesman – unfolded before me.

Heartbreaking and beautiful.  And now i’ve got to try some deep breathing to get to sleep.


from the collection of: d. heidel