The Palace of Language

In the palace of language, there are winding hallways, labyrinths to get lost in. If you take a left turn and start down that long run-on endless sentence, you’ll be all dazed and bewildered by the time you find your way out. You’ll have forgotten where you started. However, you may stop in some lovely rooms along the way. There’s one just a bit in, lush and soft with pillows you can just sink into. Then farther on there’s a fountain, the words flowing like black ink that sprays and pools and rises again. They go over and over, into themselves and back out, tumbling end over end until they’ve been in every order and shape you can imagine. That’s even still within the fountain, not escaping from the neat stream that arcs into the air and plunks against the surface.

Saragossa. Court of the Infanta, Zaporta Palace

Photo credit: Cornell University Library

If you take the right turn, there’s a long and beautiful hallway lined with pillars. They’re spiraling and straight, plain and engraved with intricate designs. If you lean against one, the feel of it on your skin will near take your mind away. Sink against it, slump until your shoulders sag and your head droops, and close your eyes to the touch of it on your skin.

Then follow the scent of sandalwood and cinnamon until you get to the grand hall. Lean back until you feel your spine creaking, and stare up at the ceiling. Watch the candles cast warm yellow circles up the walls, let the tendrils of heat whisper on your cheeks. The paragraphs are crunched into bricks that climb until you can’t see the lines where they join, and the words sparkle in the leaving light. The texture of them on your fingers grates slightly, the curls of the letters rubbing with a hissing sound. If you trace the curving lines on the tiles you can spell out the words, and if you follow them for long enough you get to the end.


2 thoughts on “The Palace of Language

  1. A great analogy for writing. And they say that writing isn’t a physical activity…

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