This is not a reflection. I took this picture at the Uffizi Gallery along the Arno River in Florence.
I had just crossed the Ponte Vecchio Bridge ffrom the south side when I
realized something had startled me on my right in peripheral vision. It happened so quickly
that by the time I realized it, I had already walked
past the source of my distraction. I scanned the crowd to see who else
had noticed; surely,
something so unignorable to me must have been seen by other people, yet no
one appeared to have noticed but me.
decided to retrace my steps to see if it would happen again.
Looking straight ahead, not expecting it to occur, I began to walk.
When it happened the second time, I stopped to determine the source. My
sensation of an involuntary gestalt felt identical to my usual
synesthesia -- the involuntary automatic response of color or sound
elicited by an outside source -- only there was no color or sound in
this case. What was the source and what did I feel?
noticed that if I stood slightly to the right or left of that exact
position, the feeling went
away; so what was it about this confluence of shapes, this series of
arches, that elicited the startle effect in me that felt identical to
my synesthesia in a qualitative way? It is easier to tell you what I
felt than why I felt it.
I remember the sensation of selfless abandonment, of suspension in
perfect balance outside of the confines of time; the experience
of ever-so-briefly being free of notions of quantity or measurement;
indeed, of being beyond notions of any kind. It is a feeling I strive for in my art, though ironically, I can achieve it only if I give up striving all together.
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