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

'Handfuls of Small Stones'

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

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As you go up river from downtown Grand Rapids and you pass the beautiful old bridge, you eventually come upon a marker right down by the water’s edge—so close, in fact, that the water occasionally covers it.  We call this river the Grand, but in the imagined parallel universe of Kcymaerxthaere, it was called the Lekksenne or the Lekcenne.

Kcymaerxthaere is an art project and the work of Eames Demetrios. Around the world, a series of plaques and other markers honor events that have taken place in a parallel universe that, according to Demetrios, “co-exists to some degree with ours.” Most of these installations are bronze or stone plaques inscribed with stories but some are larger, even entire buildings. As of 2021, there are more than 140 sites spread across six continents and 30 countries.

According to the internal lore of this long-running project, a handful of small stones was tossed into the waters of this river to simulate the creation story of that world. In Kcymaerxthaere, there was nothing quite like daybreak on the side of the river where the plaque sits. The morning sun illuminated the splashes in the water, while the Milky Way glowed across the water in total darkness.

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.

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