Dustless | Volume 16 | The Lover in the Snow [i]

Even an unfixed and unstable star still gives out light.

They seek stability, and yet end up floating.

They seek safety, yet remain insecure.

Is this not the state of life? Wise masters of the eras of the past have said: In ambiguity is immortality — but in certainty, only death.

Never still, and yet asleep, they drift on. Waters of beautiful Adomikan blue, so striking against the whiteness of the winter snows. Long-legged herons, with wings outspread; a swirl of currents, water in water flowing; mist in the morning; and at noon, a sharp cold clarity, good for seeing: a world more ancient than the worlds of humanity. High towers, in the distance, reminders of the empire’s order. Fallen statues, the woods alive with the rumours of ghosts. Lost civilisations.

Trade and passage, barter and debt: work in a day for some; for others, luxury of play to pass the long hours.

An obdurate foe. An exquisite ally.

Delirium. Haunting figures.

A great secret, hidden within the mind. And hidden within the secret, a new world: mysterious, irrational, infinite — Dustless.

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