Skip to main content

#0162: Willa Cather to Annie Adams Fields, June 27, 1909

More about this letter…
Plain view:

Guide to Reading Letter Transcriptions

Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.

Textual Feature Appearance
passage deleted with a strikethrough mark deleted passage
passage deleted by overwritten added letters overwritten passage
passage added above the line passage with added text above
passage added on the line passage with added text inline
passage added in the margin passage with text added in margin
handwritten addition to a typewritten letter typed passage with added handwritten text
missing or unreadable text missing text noted with "[illegible]"
uncertain transcriptions word[?]
notes written by someone other than Willa Cather Note in another's hand
printed letterhead text printed text
text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc. printed text
text of date and place stamps stamped text
passage written by Cather on separate enclosure. written text
⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mrs. Fields1;

Yesterday at noon I learned of the bitter loss3 that has come to us all and to you more than to anyone else. I think you will know better than I can tell you how constantly my thoughts have been with you since then. This city, and my walking about the streets of it, seem very much like a dream when my heart is straining over-sea to you and to her4 who loved you so well through so many years. For I cannot bring myself to feel but that somehow she is there near you, and that if I could go to you today I would feel her presence even if I could not see her, as I felt it when I went to see you when she was ill first ill in the winter. When one is far away like this one cannot realize death. Other things become shadowy and unreal, but Miss Jewett herself remains so real that I cannot get past the vivid image of her to any other realization. I know that something has happened only by the numbness and inertia that have come over me. I find that everything I have been doing and undertaking over here I havedone with a hope that it might interest her—even to some clothes I was having made. And now all the wheels stand still and the ways of life seem very dark and purposeless. There is only one thing that seems worth hoping or wishing for, and that is that you and Miss Mary5 are finding strength and comfort from some source I do not know of, for I know that Miss Jewett's first care and anxiety would have been for you. She was always so afraid of losing you, so afraid, as she told me at Manchester6 last summer, "that her life might be blown away from her without warning."

I shall sail for home some time next week, as soon as I can get a boat, and I can hardly expect to hear news of you from anyone until then. I shall let you know as soon as I land in New York7. If there is anything, little or big, that I can do, if there should be anything which I could attend to for you, or any way in which I could lighten your loneliness, it would help me more than anything else in the world could and give me deeper pleasure.

Dear Mrs. Fields, one cant speak or write what I want to say to you, for nobody's heart can ever speak. Let me love and sorrow with you, and think of me sometimes when you are thinking of Miss Jewett. I could never tell you, I cannot even tell myself, how dear you both are to me.