Handfuls of Small Stones – Grand Rapids, Michigan - Atlas Obscura
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Grand Rapids, Michigan

Handfuls of Small Stones

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a marker honors the creation story of a proud fictional culture. 

Created by Geographer-at-Large Eames Demetrios, Kcymaerxthaere is a “parallel universe that intersects with much of our linear Earth, but with different stories, creatures, peoples, even laws of physics and qualities of existence.”  It has been likened to a novel with every page in a different place. What makes the Kcymaerxthaere project particularly interesting is that Demetrios installs informative markers and historical sites at the locations in our world that connect to his world, creating real world intersections with his imagined universe. For the months of August and September, 2014, Demetrios acted as our first ever Geographer-in-Residence and his Kcymaerxthaere locations continue to be featured all over the Atlas. To learn more see our introductory article here

As you go up river from downtown Grand Rapids and you pass the beautiful old bridge, you eventually come upon this marker, right down by the water–indeed the high water occasionally covers it.  We call this river the Grand, the people on this bank during Kcymaerxthaereal times called it the Lekksenne, and on the other side it went by the Lekcenne.  For much of its length, the river has ywreng or time frontier down the middle.  It was into these waters that each year, a Handful of Small Stones was tossed into the water to simulate the creation story.

Interestingly, for the ritual performed here, that legendary time frontier was of marginal importance–though the fact that in those times the Earth went around the Sun 350 times a year on this side (but 412 times a year on the other side) had some beautiful results.  There was nothing quite like having it be daybreak on this side of the river, with the morning Sun illuminating the splashes in the water, while the Milky Way glowed across the water in total darkness. Unbelievably pretty. Imagine it when you are there.

 

 

Know Before You Go

If you head north from downtown Grand Rapids along Monroe (the first street in from the river on the left bank [east bank at that point]) you will get to Canal Park aways after the 6th Street Bridge. It will be right along the river. At the north end of the park, just before you get to the intersection with Walbridge, there will be a parking lot on the left. Go down towards the river, there will be a concavity indented into the bank. The plaque is at the north end.