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Mirrors

That Slow Time entry was kind of a downer. So let’s put on a fresh layer of reality paint. Nothing’s going on today, except that I’m revising Lifebox, so, hmm, I’ll reach into the picture archives to find something to post.

Three pictures of mirrors! The first is a window in a parking lot in Wyoming.

The second is caustics on the surface of a brook in Big Basin in Santa Cruz Country.

A reflections quote, from my journals, this fall.

“I went camping in Big Sur; it was a hot day, and I had the chance to stand in the cool clear flow of the Big Sur River, up to my neck in a big pool that accumulates right before the river flows across a sand bar into the Pacific. Standing there, I closed my eyes to savor the sensation of water and air. My arms were weightless at my sides, my knees were slightly bent, I was at perfect equilibrium. Each time I exhaled, my breath would ripple the water, and reflections of the noon sun would flicker on my eyelids. Exquisite.”

“I was all there, fully conscious, immersed in the river. And I became powerfully aware of a common sense fact that most people will have known all along.”

“'This isn’t a computation. This is water.'”

A third picture, an office building in Denver, erstwhile home of Neal Cassady.

Working with computer graphics has enhanced my appreciation of the natural world. Though I think painting does the same thing.

Here’s a quote along these lines from David Kushner, Masters of Doom, (Random House, 2003) p. 295. Kushner is describing the programmer John Carmack, who developed most of the code for the first-person-shooter computer games Doom and Quake.

“…after so many years immersed in the science of graphics, he [John Carmack] had achieved an almost Zen-like understanding of his craft. In the shower, he would see a few bars of light on the wall and think, Hey, that’s a diffuse specular reflection from the overhead lights reflected off the faucet. Rather than detaching him from the natural world, this viewpoint only made him appreciate it more deeply. ‘These are things I find enchanting and miraculous,’ he said, ‘I don’t have to be at the Grand Canyon to appreciate the way the world works. I can see that in reflections of light in my bathroom.’”

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