Skip to main content

Butterfly's Dream

Timeless and mysterious like a beautiful woman, the Island lured and enchanted the imagination of many nations. Her main urban center, dominating the sea from the high slopes of a rocky shore, displayed the elegant and stern style of the Greek cities from Antiquity. The locals, almost always looking young and handsome, lived in imposing houses two or three storeys high, made of blue and pink marble blocks. Most of the buildings were decorated with Doric columns and often wrapped in green ivy tendrils.

Streets paved with hexagonal blocks of granite were intersecting each other at right angles, dividing the city in regular segments. At well-defined intervals, plazas with statues, silver wells, and exotic trees filled the landscape with even more color and diversity. Tall ivory towers, made of an unknown type of stone, guarded the metropolis at its fringes.

Yet, more than anything else that defined her, the main source of the Island’s fame and prosperity, the real cause that attracted, like a powerful magnet, people from everywhere, was the gold. It could be found in huge quantities in every place, from her shores to the local mountains. The gold, in various alloys, made up the roof tiles, the frames and hinges for doors and windows, plates and cups, most tools, some weapons, and pretty much everything else that needed the use of a cheap metal.

In spite of having this place called in one way or another by different cultures who entered or left at some point the center stage of history, the names faded away under the relentless flow of time. The only one that endured was the simple, somewhat trivial appellation of “the Island”.

You are not going to see the Island on any map, be it old or contemporary. When setting sail across the vast, rough seas, the sailors only knew her approximate direction and no one could say exactly how large or how far away she was. Still hundreds of kilometers off her beaches, the ships’ compasses would begin spinning quickly, the constellations would appear completely changed, and the Sun would rise every day from an unexpected direction.

(excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea)

Popular posts from this blog

theta - 🌌 dreams, lizards, and rapids 🌌

πŸŒ’ for other chapters, please see the end of this post πŸŒ’
Once upon a time I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly, a butterfly full of life, fluttering back and forth, feeling happy and perfectly at ease in this state. I was completely unaware of being Tzu. Suddenly I woke up and here I was myself again, the genuine Tzu. Then I realized I did not know whether I had formerly been ,aming I was a butterfly, or whether I was now a butterfly dreaming that I was Tzu. Yet, between Tzu and a butterfly, there has to be a difference. This is a case of what is called the Transformation of Things.
A breeze of cold air touches my face and I open my eyes. I am awake now, with the words of the great sage resonating inside my head. Why have I just remembered them so intensely while being asleep? It’s almost dark and I can see pale red shadows dancing above me on the low, rough ceiling of the cave.
I lift myself into a sitting position. Scratching noises are coming from the area in my front, hidden i…

Winning against the cold

It’s over. I can’t move anymore. Sitting on the cold floor with my legs crossed, I prepare to meet my Maker. My numb hands are resting on my knees and I wait. If I have to die, I shall die in peace and with dignity. The cold is piercing my face and chest with thousands of needles. It’s sinking deep into my lungs, like the claw of a giant ice dragon. I decide to ignore it from now on. Obedient to my final wish, the pain fades away soon and is replaced by a comfortable numbness. I start dreaming. I hear a voice telling me to sit on a higher stone, set my ankles over my thighs and let my knees touch the ground. If this position is too difficult to maintain, it can also be done by putting the ankles on top of each other. The voice also suggests to keep my back and head straight, my hands in the center with the left on top of the right and have the thumbs touching each other. This whole body posture looks a bit unusual to me, but what do I have to lose? With my last powers I find a flat sto…

iota (part 2) πŸ… recovering πŸ…

πŸŒ› for other chapters, please see the end of this post πŸŒ›  As the days passed, I began taking short walks inside the garden and visited the rest of the settlement. It was a village with twenty-five houses, all made of nicely cut blocks of stone and covered with wooden tiles. Each building was quite large and had three or four rooms. The village area extended all the way to the river bank and was bordered by ponds and forests in the opposite direction. Most of the people living here, almost a hundred souls, were farmers or fishers, but also occasional hunters on the nearby snowy mountain slopes. I felt safe in this place, now being certain that no soldier from Gold City would follow me to this location through the narrow and treacherous canyon. The locals spoke this elegant, musical tongue, very regular in structure and easy to learn, surprisingly similar to some languages from our world and especially close to Latin. The river, named Kai, was about one hundred meters wide here and th…