(Back in Chicago, after the London trip for Abe's bday)

I write like watercolors

Technically speaking I wrote that line yesterday, on December 5. I emailed it to myself, as a thing to incorporate into my day today. (I don't "remember" things. If I want to use something in my future, I put it somewhere I'll find it when the future comes.)

I replied to my email this morning:

I am thinking beautiful thoughts

a watercolor over time, arranging each brush stroke not just in space but in time

adjusting the time-focus to see different things

The core idea here uses watercolor painting as an analogy for the expression of concept over time. Watercolors can't be erased, they can't be precisely controlled, and time plays a massive factor in the interaction of each application of paint with each prior application.

When I wrote "I write like watercolors", I meant that I don't think I know what I'm making.

When I wrote "a watercolor over time", I meant that I'm conceiving of the ability to view a watercolor painting with control over how far back in time I can "see" -- or how much time I can "see" at once.

To understand this, imagine sitting down to a canvas, watercolors and brush at the ready. Imagine adding the first application of paint, watching it pool on the canvas. Imagine adding a second color, touching the first one, watching the colors mingle. Imagine now that the third application of paint erases the first one -- imagine the first color slowly fading, as if it had never been set down to begin with. You can imagine continuing to paint, with previous brushstrokes being erased, such that only the two latest applications of paint are ever visible.

Then, imagine the ability to rewind backward in time, to see what it looked like at any point in time, with only those two latest applications of paint visible.

Lastly, imagine the ability to widen the time-lens -- seeing the latest three, four, or more layers all at once.

This is what I was thinking of: painting across time, with words. It's never done, and the vision changes over time.

I don't remember much, and I like it that way. It keeps me present, and frequently in wonder.

By collecting all of my writing together, assembling a timeline, I hope to gain the ability to widen the time-lens, to experimentally see what happens when I look at different ranges of my writing across time -- wider ranges, narrower ranges, and ranges centered on different points of the timeline.

Sidenote, I think this watercolors-over-time concept has a place in the next iteration of the Aura. A 3D volume, with splotches of color added algorithmically and psuedo-randomly (seeded randomness, for reproducible results). Like watercolors on 2D paper, each application of color "bleeds" out into 3D space, mingling with other colors. Adjusting the time-lens lets the user tune the amount of color they see; scrubbing over the timeline lets the user "tour" the 3D painting over time.

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