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A City, Writ in Stone

January 26, 2015





There is a kingdom that few mortals have the chance to see. Its citizens are every size and colour and blend of animal and human you can imagine, and some you cannot. They live with a grace, a whimsy, a capriciousness that the outer world does not know, but imagines—accurately—in stories. Everyone knows of the danger of the unknown, the strangers on our borders who may do us harm.

The capital of this kingdom is a rambling city, full of spires and palaces and drawing from every period, every civilization in history. Roman mansions butt up against the homes of Chinese scholars, wattle and daub lies around the corner from Victorian terraces, longhouses and adobe walls face shanties on stilts and all manner of boats on the canals. Above everything are twisting, turning towers of the sort to imprison princesses or enable astronomers to see the skies more clearly. Everything is full of life, vibrant, hyper-real.


This kingdom, Faerie, is tucked away from the world. It can only be found in the wild places and the crannies of imagination. We can glimpse Faerie, but never see it. We can visit in our minds, but never in person.


The images here are the closest I’ve gotten. Perhaps I’ll write a story there someday?


(A stone slab showing intricate mineral seepage resembling a city when inverted. The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London, UK.)

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