01/08/11

It's hard to believe I've spent a week on this mountain with no food, no supplies. Honestly, it's hard to believe an entire week has passed in the first place. But here I am, overlooking the city. I must say I was taken aback when I finally made it over the highest point of the trail, and saw the city spread out before me, nestled inbetween the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. It was... it's hard to describe. It's not fantastical; there's no perilous towers scraping the heavens. It's not especially foreign architecture, either, or resplendent with gold and jewels. Certainly, what I imagined in my head during the years before I made my journey was far more impressive.

But I can finally see it. It is real. Maybe that's it – for so long, it was only a thing of rumor and legend. Really? A city that's on no map, and has no name? Even the many people who'd claimed to visit it. Surely it was all some elaborate joke; they were just pulling my leg. I'm here now.

Don't let me give you the wrong impression, however. The city is beautiful. It looks a strange sister to Rome, with marble being the most common building material (it seems from this vantage point), and ruins of old temples and archways sharing equal space with living architecture. And other parts, residential areas, look liks small New England towns. I can only imagine that the fall season here is just as beautiful. And to the northwest, towering glass skyscrapers. I imagine that's the "urbs speculorum", the city of glass. Where, apparently, the followers of Thoth went from scribes to publishers and computer programmers, treating the art of typesetting and software engineering with the same reverence they'd given writing and calligraphy.

To the south, along the sea, small houses nestled along the cliff, crashing waves beneath, reminiscent of the islands of Greece (though addmittedly I've never been). Everywhere my eyes rest, it looks like someplace else – but nothing seems out of place.

But enough of this. It's time to move on.