As I learn this language, this other language, some things:
1) This is so much alchemy.
We first look to the aether. This same touch of the lips, this same flutter of the throat – the wisps of every forgotten tongue gather and collapse with each syllable we breathe, each one spoken a hundred thousand times before.
From these we draw out the elements. The mind scoops these sounds from the air, condenses them, and finally distills them into slender letters that are distinct, unique, pure.
But these are still soft, unstable. So they react. Some do so predictably, forming dull, earthy metals, and some others, from such mundanity suddenly sublime into barely visible smoke, filling the nostrils. They start to bear weight, smells, colour; meaning. Still, that is not enough, and we transmute them, alloy them, forcing them to become still harder, brighter, stronger, until the ideograms our hands and minds create no longer resemble anything from an earthen womb, but in themselves reflect purpose, utility, will.
Even now, the time of our labour has yet to pass. We pick up the tools of the miniaturist’s craft, and by the flickering candle fleck a delicate and gyrating filigree across the gleaming surface of our alchemical labour. An onlooker would see that we are making a jewelry box; one so flawless that it will in itself be fit to be unearthed, polished, cut. We set translucent stones from the furthest corners of the deserts, affix our bone-glue, and finally, with a brush, apply pigments ground from snail and ochre. Tendril by tendril, we infuse the box with our intent, snatching sight from our failing eyes and making it almost-flesh; until finally, ornamented, varnished, laden, the box clasps perfectly shut, and we breathe out.
And by the time the cockerel breaks the new day, these empyreal, imperial treasures have been taken from our workshops, bound to be proffered before some decadent throne. Some will be kept, unopened, resting next to ever more opulent creations beneath high ceilinged lonely vaults; some will be used, will conceal heirlooms, frame gems, bear witness to secrets both profound and depraved; but most, as if plundered by some Hunnic king, will be melted back into trinkets, and like the Ouroboros in his lair, patiently await the time when the cycle of alchemy comes to bear again.