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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.

I 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?

I 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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