Stories So Small

Japanese author and Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata is famous for his ‘palm of the hand’ stories, stories so small and taciturn that they could fit in the grasp of one’s curled fingers. These stories comprise mere moments: a meeting of gazes, a gesture, a brief downfall of rain, the arranging of flowers, the steeping of tea. They are like wells: despite having a small, hemmed in surface of finite dimensions, their depths are unknown, dark, requiring close examination, speculation on behalf of the reader. — Stephanie

The Holy Well

Get rid of the “sacred” relics; they’re nothing to me. But the rain coming down outside is so lovely. The burning candles inside casting that delicate light. That is holiness.

I’ve never been to Ireland. I don’t know its rains. But I have smelled the rain falling on the desert and that smell has sent me into a kind of quiet rapture. The dark sky becomes a little darker and sudden coolness passes over my body. I shiver. Bulbous clouds. Distant rumble. It is amazing.

Clear, deep water. Fire. Stone. Overcome the nettles, green, to enter this refuge. Rain on leaves. On earth. The smell of moss. Take a friend here to talk. Come alone. Be.

Coffee at Midnight

Before long, she started making coffee at midnight. She’d wake up like she did, like the turning of a switch, with darkness all around. At first, she’d just lay there in the hot of summer, and feel the occasional breeze come through the open window. Sometimes, the light from a passing car would sweep across the room. She was lonely in Chicago. There was no one to call. She didn’t like the world’s rules. They didn’t suit her. Made her uncomfortable. Coffee was for the morning, everyone knew. And so, she got up, crossed the small apartment, and started to make it in the heart of the night. In the silent box of her kitchen.