Everything, I believe, is interconnected ... Fingerwork, the Gates of the Garden, the Eyes of Icarus, the Falling Cities. And so the Mysteries of Polythreme interconnect with Parabola's; they form themselves a parabola, an image mirrored unto itself. I've written before on my voyage to the Marches of the Mirror Country. Now I will write on my voyage across the zee.
First, let me begin in Fallen London. There I worked with an Implacable Detective, to discover a missing Medium -- and when I discovered her, I discovered that she, like me, had been Behind the Mirror. But she appeared possessed by it ... She sang in English and in Loamsprach, the language of the Clay. 'We will exist!' 'Clothed in jade and clothed in mud!' 'The king with a hundred hearts!' 'No flying thing, no thing that flies!' 'The garden gates, with faces locked ...' In her reflection, her hair and hands moved like the slithering of serpents.
That would not be the last I heard of the Serpent-Handed. In another, private case, I found that a novelist of the Neath and a poet of the Surface had both invoked that mirror image, independent of one another, inspired by their dreams. And thus I learned of a dream-entity that slithers through one's consciousness whenever one brings it to being by writing of it. I believe the Medium was touched by this entity.
But enough of serpents. The Medium spoke of the king with a hundred hearts, and I did not know her meaning then, but I know it now. The King of a Hundred Hearts is the king of Polythreme -- its genius loci. In Polythreme, everything is animate. Stone screams, water begs. On the Grunting Fen, I speculated that all things share a soul, or spirit -- pneuma, as the Stoics conceived of pneuma, the breath of life and the form possessed even by the lifeless. I have come to believe that soul, that spirit, that pneuma, is the Hundreds'. Through the Hundreds, Polythreme lives and the Clay Men are born. I witnessed the birth of a Clay Man in Polythreme, one heart broken from many. Like men, the Hundreds dream. Like the author, like the poet, the King's dreams bring something into being, and that something is the Clay Men. Clothed in jade and clothed in mud, they will exist.
What of garden gate, with faces locked? Polythreme's priests speak of the garden and the mountain. There, too, is an interconnection, for it is said that in the Elder Country exists a great glowing mountain -- and it said that wherever death flees from, it flees from the Elder Country first, like the shadow fleeing light. There is a curious quality to the Neath. We die, but our deaths are a part of life such that we can live again. We dream, but we dream in common, as in a common reality. In Polythreme, even the lifeless have life. In Parabola, we wander a waking dream. One opens to the other, as through reflecting frames. I know they have a single source.
I do not yet know what, or how -- but in my dreams it shines with the Memory of Light.