Artwork by Jon Foster, ©2014: "the quarry's not hard to find: his head is a bright ball weaving through the darkness", p.35.
Chiliad: A Meditation is a combination of 2 related short stories Clive Barker wrote back in 1997 and Subterranean Press re-assembled in 2014. Defined, "chiliad" means 1,000 years, and the 2 stories take place that distance apart. The setup is a narrator at the bank of a river that flows both directions in time. Both stories concern wives that have met horrible ends by this river. Both stories run the length and breadth of sorrow.
These tales live in loss; they are beyond bittersweet and are quite despairing. But there is so much grace to the writing, so much clarity of vision into the desperate spiral falling out from malevolent actions, that I felt immersed in a fanciful truth as well.
Yeah sure, the elemental human animal remains the same even in a thousand-year span. But sometimes it takes an unwanted feelie to molest your emotions into perceiving something truly remarkable. It's easy to forget that even the most beautiful city in the world has a trash-pile garbage dump somewhere nearby.
One cannot exist without the other. To deny the detritus of the human soul is to forsake its bloom as well.
Here's a far deeper excavation into this short but lavished meditation here.