A tall, glorious city looms high above the ocean. A kind of sunset or sunrise motif to it, almost shining up high but dusky at its base. Below the waves, the angry waves crash into pillars, black and white, threatening to overwhelm. Everything has a cost...when you build a magnificent city near the sea that is the risk that you take. The head of a divine being rises out of the city's peak - protection, insurance, or an illusion people cling to when faced with very real fears? A raven flies overhead, an omen, a messenger...
A raven with a gem it its beak, a shiny bauble stolen at a cost; always a cost, always a tradeoff for everything. Nothing in life is truly free, in the grand scheme of things. The pearlescent serpent curls around the bird, ever-present, vaguely threatening.
Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, it seems like. A natural disaster gives me additional time to write a far better paper than I could have managed in that originally allotted. I read about a city I love, soggy, start to set itself right as I polish off the last words. Always with the worry, this thing or something else. Worry and hope and desperate grasping. This for that, jewel and snake. Something that makes my thoughts clear, set right; and brings a certain breathlessness when I walk, even slowly.
Always the contrast, the juxtaposition, the dual-edged nature of things. What do you choose to focus on - the god bathed in light or the waves? The jewel in beak or the snake?