Closer than Breathing

Seven Tales

By R.I. Sutton


Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet—

Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Higher Pantheism


Here, you can find meaning in the peripheral places: down a storm water drain, within a willow tree’s grain—or, at sea, in that hazy line where water meets sky. Closer than Breathing seeks the inner light in an incredulous world. An agnostic glimpses faith in a butterfly’s wings; an exile finds her way home on a mythical steed; and a young girl faces the world's end with a song. Closer than Breathing reveals the monumental in life’s detritus with a precision that is both anatomical and sublime.


R.I. Sutton’s illustrated volume revives the tradition of the tale—that distinctive literary form exemplified by such writers as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hermann Hesse and Karen Blixen. In unique, limited edition, this work is typeset, letterpress printed and bound by the author’s own hands.


'These are stories of luminous epiphanies and dark apprehensions, evanescent intuitions and fugitive glimpses, stories of hope and regret, love and loss and grief, of death and renewal...These tales, often gossamer-fine, altogether escape the claustrophobia and the clamour, the ideological posturing, the cramped horizons of much contemporary fiction. They variously amaze, disturb, soothe, move and refresh us.'

 Harry Oldmeadow, Author of

Journeys East