cohesion, degradation, disruption, disturbance, emotion, entanglement, interaction, loss, mutation, stress.
This short story unfolds the degradation process of works of art belonging to an old respectable man.
One of many, who never experienced failed expectations.
Being confined to anonymity is insufferable to some of us. An ordinary life is more suitable to others than oneself, as a rule. Some individuals nourish an incremental high opinion of their worth that leads them to self destruction. Confronted to loss, the ones who stood by their side will either run away erratically or spouse their mentor's behavior.
The degradation of art is a complex process due to its variable composition and the diversity of environmental conditions to which it can be exposed. This short story presents a first scope of mental reactions leading to physical interactions occurring between the components of a work of art, between the works of art and the old man, and within the core of his nervous system.
When the story begins, the old man has been diagnosed for some time a highly malignant tumor of the nervous system, called glioblastoma. This unfortunate piece of news, creates a rippling tremor among the community of works of art possessed by the old man. The eminent senior members of the collection are contemplating with mixed emotions, the awesome prospect of loosing their rightful owner. Such sudden and unexpected stress will shatter their quiet inner cohesion and convictions. As the episodes of the story unfold, the old man sees evidence of the degradation of what he considers his masterpieces, corollary of his own predicament. The collapse of his convictions, leads him to question the reversibility of his life.
The irreversibility of his outcome, leads to various types of physical quantum entanglement.
For the sake of our story, we kindly request the reader to willingly repudiate rational thinking in order to cope with an insane and disturbing belief : art feels emotions like anxiety, sadness, anger or even fear as well as we do, other than the ones intended by the artist, responsible for their inception. In our story, art individually and collectively, decides of its own fate without the consent of the artist. The flaking of the old man's convictions is mirrored by the flaking of the paint layers of canvases. The mapping of his brain tumor is put in perspective with the mapping of art degradation. This short story is a blend of true relevant information with purely imaginative fictional facts, involving both works of art and the human brain. The blend is meant to establish a mutual dependency between the characters of the story.
We live with the conviction that works of Art will outlive us for centuries, motionless and silent.
We assume that what is not immediately perceptible to the human eye stays invisible and lacks a voice.
Masterpieces age slowly and gently in most cases, provided they are not inflicted stress. It takes a while to individuals to digest stress as it takes a while to works of art. Such timing is variable and depends on the scale of the stress inflicted. The digestion can be resented or accepted, depending on the intrinsic nature of the works.
The works of art can be clinically silent (asymptomatic) or can show relatively short term symptoms.
In such case, the difference between individuals and art, lies in our ability to self induce stress, whereas works of art do not share such cognitive ability, as far as we know...
Works of art show evidence that something actually took place.
Esthetic damage in the form of dark black spots and fading of pigments appearing on the pictorial surface of a painting for instance, are the obvious signs that some change has occurred and is still processing within the layers of the painting, causing injuries. The appearance of a deteriorated or discolored pictorial surface suggests that this is accompanied by some other linked changes. Indeed, some damages may precede serious injuries. The scale and implications leads us to wonder as to when these changes may have started. Although the intricacy of the human's neuronal system seems hardly achievable, some works of art have a sheer complexity of their own.
Paintings are composed of diverse materials constrained to live together, as the tenants of a given support. Some tenants like pigments, may prove unstable. The support and the various layers of pigments applied over a first coating and then varnished, have to share a confined space, whether they like it or not, itself submitted to various climatic changes. Spatial distribution is affected and changes cause various levels of stress resulting in the migration of pigments and the binding media with a loss of cohesion with the original support, and creating structural damage. Some components not only migrate into the matrix between the pigment particles, but also make their way to the surface of a painting.
The conservation of paintings requires the understanding of the binding medium used, as interaction between pigment and binding medium occur. The treatment of a glioblastoma tumor is dependent of the understanding of glial cells function, the programmed supportive cells of neurons. The cohesion factor is essential in art conservation, as the supportive factor is for the neuronal system, although migration is a natural process. Cell migrations are beneficial to us, but also can cause diseases if the migration results from a disturbance causing an alteration of cells and their detachment from the extracellular matrix. These glioblastoma cells express anarchist mutant forms. Both in art and the human body, instability of the cells creates a disorder with cross linkage reactions, causing diseases or aging. The case study of the old man reveals an unregulated growth of cells, which can not be completely eradicated by treatment and can not be prevented from dividing. Further more, the normal cells are affected by the treatment(s) leading to side effects. These side effects together with the mental mood changes of the old man, feed up the degradation process of the works of art.
Such acceleration is serving the plot of our story; It enlightens the interaction between the works of art and the old man's changing perception of what is real and what is imaginary. When subject to seizures, the old man is so entangled by his own individuality, that he demonstrates weak propensity for clarity during the different phases of interaction.
The works of art shared the cosy illusion, that they would dwell in a safe haven in compliance, with their recent proclaimed status of masterpieces; Their revised attribution was soon to be released to the main actors of the art world. Years of research financed by the old man had finally come to fruition and were about to be disclosed. Their forth coming glory has provoked eagerness and elated flippancy among the members of the collection, as they were warming up to embrace the light of recognition. They had not considered the option that the old man could be dying of a neuronal disease. The marquetry and veneer furniture of the collection had gone from elated expansion to distressed contraction, unaware that the flexing of wood could bear consequences, such as displacement and coating deterioration. As to the gilt furniture, abrasion and other flaws of underlying deterioration of the gold leaf surface, were already visible manifestation of displeasure. Often mocked by the other works of art for their acute sensitiveness, the drawings had disregarded the celebration of their traceability, and were reluctant to leave their assigned drawers. Nevertheless, the looming acid oxidation of their substrate, betrayed bitter dismay, and some inks were threatening to darken, aiming to become illegible to sarcasm. The old books had argued that some of their peers could not be consulted as they were on a sick leave when the news broke. The news had enhanced their particular smell, judged nauseous by the paintings who were complaining.
Ongoing heated discussions regarding the strategy of actions, are conducted by the senior members of the old man's collection, till a consensus is finally reached between the senior members and the rest of the committee. In spite of the contradictory feelings expressed throughout the debate, a schismatic conclusion is avoided, and a final decision is voted unanimously : the works of art will voice their non reversible refusal to outlive the old man.
The concerted abdication of the works of Art is a self indictment that expresses the decoherent interaction with the old man's fate on a scientific point of view, but also a failure to deal with adversity. Indeed, those who stand tall, are but a few.
We take for granted our good fortune, and we indulge ourselves to thinking it will remain unstained, until an unexpected trigger brings a new reality. In the case of the old man, the suppressor cells in the brain system, have failed to perform their assignment, and the old man will be compelled to revise his expectations.
The masterpieces will dread dis-attribution and the bleak prospect of going back to previous anonymity.
Fear of being evicted from the coveted list of art masterpieces will generate turmoil.
Fear of loosing their guardian will create chaos among the works of art and degradation of their physical integrity shall take place.
Convictions are vulnerable, although we cling to them, seeking for perpetual mental comfort.
They crumble when exposed to the tragedy of loss.
Some of us consider sickness as an inevitable ordeal, inherent in our humanity.
The old man was hostile to such belief.
Sickness was a stranger to him, and one does not mingle with strangers.
The works of art, knew of his resilience in adversity and it was fine.
A coin has two faces.
Our brain shows to the world the bright side and keeps the dark side concealed.
Some of us manage to tame the dark side of our brain.
The old man when sickness occured, was facing a complete stranger who was no one but himself.
We acknowledge our adversaries and measure their potency in the long run.
Potent adversaries don’t rush to reveal their true game, upfront. They know better, and their elected strategy consists in getting familiar with their prey.
Neural diseases know that time is their ally.
They know of the dark side of our brain. And if they dont, they do a comprehensive investigation.
They get acquainted with their spatial surroundings before spreading.
It is time's ransom for a deep anchorage in our brain.
The old man was no lenient judge and consequently did not wait to accuse his vicinity of the crime commited against his humanity. The culprit had to be found and eradicated with no mercy. The old man was facing an invisible enemy and did not fathom that he could be the enemy to blame. He considered that his brain was a sophisticated high tech engine that would stop running, eventually. The unblessed deadline was still at bay according to his saavy speculation, and the old man assumed that a superior brain was immune to disorder. Although, he never was able to assess the scale of his prevalence, he never questioned it.
The old man did not fancy conjectural brooding unless forced to.
The powerful device was devoid of disfunction providing an alien entity would not deliberately disrupt it, expressing obvious malevolent intentions.
Opiniated, he recollected as one plays the same tune over and over, the dry apologetic diagnosis of his doctors repeating in chorus the same lethal words of a high grade glioblastoma tumor.
Time went by, and the old man kept brooding about the ugly verdict. His unfamiliarity with the medical jargon, gave him the false pretense, to wrap it into a compatible statement. The old man was deep down his brain, hoping that it could annihilate it. He drafted animated featured versions of the diagnosis, tracking down discordance between the piled up versions.
The works of art were granted with perceptual abilities although they had not conversed with the old man.
They did not interfere but they were attentive to his change of moods.
They were aware that an abridged specimen, rescued from the revised versions of the diagnosis, was streaming in the old man’s brain, repeating that His glial cells’ incremental loss of plasticity, was involving his brain into the no man’s land of non reversible advanced degradation process. Removing the glial cells would not impede the propagation of the tumor in other areas of his brain. Furthermore, their resistance to conventional multimodal treatments, coupled to a high re-occurrence rate, made them a formidable tool of mass destruction, for an outsider malicious thought. There was no viable path to restore the putative dominance of his brain, as there was no revamping of his neural cells.
Last but not least, the tumor was too deeply anchored to be removable. His brain was the painful siege of a ruthless and growing feud.
Civil war was firing up, dividing camps.
Surrender was not an acceptable option to the old man who had fought other battles.
Then, he was the general in command and the forces of his brain were all supportive of his actions. This time, the troops had overstepped his authority and were leading the dispute neglecting to advise him. The old man tangled in the knot of his own thoughts, believed he should have candidly been advised by the glial cells that something went wrong. Neural cells were reputed to share data, including confidential ones, between themselves, but they had for some reason failed to transmit the nature of the disease. The verdict propelled into his ears by the doctors, allowed no governance on his part, but submission to their healing authority.
There was no graceful exit to the verdict.
A life long active member of the HRI club, the Healthy Respectable Individuals, the old man was horrified at the prospect of being evicted. Cast out of his own club and shunned by fellow members, was comparable to a third world war involving our galaxy. His dignity was at stake and he could not bear to be labelled an apostate.
Who triggered the thought able to reverse the programming of a whole system ? If words were considered potentially lethal, why not thoughts ? thoughts travelled faster than light, and certainly faster than words. One single thought could contain a group of nasty thoughts…
Thoughts could transmit data to another chain of thoughts.
Stray thoughts could infiltrate another brain without his awareness.
Worse of all, without his acceptance.
No alien was plotting against him but the old man's reasoning was shut to clarity, to acknowledge the fact as he kept fumbling with his thoughts.
The patient enemy was manipulating mutant glial cells to spread in his rational brain, a message of anarchy.
The old man had always voiced loud suspicion towards declarations of independance as they were the fertile ground for anarchy. The wreak of feudal institutions was a bad omen as far as he was concerned. He longed for the French Bastille where dissidents of the absolute monarchy were locked up.
Tyrants were misunderstood by the mob but not by him, who saw greatness in forceful minds.
Well behaved cells could not be tolerated to wander at random and divide at leisure in his brain, without his ascent; the mere thought was insulting to his groomed mind. Whoever was in charge of the programming of the mutation should be chastized and exiled for ever.
But then, who was leading but himself ?
The thought started to sweat in his brain. It seemed eager to enrol other thoughts to its madness.
He managed to push it away with another thought and took notice that lately, his thoughts were getting heavier, doused with drowsiness and failed to respond to his briefing summons.
His brain had surely, experienced the interference of someone and still was.
The ugly someone had corrupted his thoughts and was obstructing his synaptial junctions. The old man could not prevent the secession of thoughts.
An obliging informant thought, warned him about the infamous desertion of some thoughts, when a severe vertigo forced the old man to interrupt the course of thoughts.
The deserting thoughts were hiding introverted, gasping for an exit.
They wondered who’s brain would be willing to be the exit brain.
One thought ventured to suggest that the senior members among the works of art could act as mediators, but was silenced by the other thoughts who shrugged that the idea was preposterous.
The bold thought argued that there was evidence of global synchronization of consciousness in the universe, therefore, they would not remain neutral.
The other renegades were not listening any more. Their undivided attention was focused on the old man's fortunate lapses.
The coming window was blessed by the group who could escape: the old man was exhausted and unable to mobilize thoughts against them.
Soon, he would be deprived of hs mental mobility, unable to chase them.
Soon, the tumor would tolerate no area under curfew.
The lapses between briefing sessions, had become a source of relief to the old man. Their duration was not a concern as he expected his thoughts to patiently wait for his return.
What else could they do ?
There was no other brain that would give them assistance.
Familiar weaponry such as denial, proved useless as were his late attemps to blindfold the recurring symptoms.
We often get signals from our brain which we choose to ignore.
Our deafening lack of cognitive response strenghtens the buffeted signals, which may unleash uninvited dreams as well as physical symptoms.
The order of appearance being subject to variability and in the case of the old man, to his varying states of consciousness.
Unwanted dreams can be drowned in the darkness of the night by waking up. The rude intruder is harnessed in order to prevent a clogging invasion of bullish dreams.
With haste, we make room for another coming dream, hopefully more conciliatory.
The old man faithful to his own erected ethics, relied on mental discipline, to shut the dreams down, in a sealed Pandora file, never to be opened. He neglected to decipher their meaning, convinced that they were misguided. Misguided dreams did not belong to him. The old man had invariable set views on his possessions and these dreams did not fit in. Desirable dreams were meant to divulge us a foretaste of heaven. Eventually, they were meant to feed us with valuable solutions not available during consciousness.
There was no point in dreaming otherwise...
The embarassing dreams were sentenced to exile in one of the detention regional realms of his brain, for an indefinite period of time. The repudiated dreams had yield to his mandatory thought, and the old man relieved, mistook their silence for immutable global acquiescence.
He thought he had won a battle and congratulated himself profusely.
When they banged on the doors of his sleep, he was unguarded.
Lately, the prisoners had shown fierce insubordination, intoxicated by their release from custody. The doctors’repeated diagnosis had triggered their freedom and they had returned from oblivion, determined to pollute his consciousness. They were harassing his nights, and would desert the battle field only with sunrise. In the morning, awakening from unconsciousness, nausea would overwhelm the old man who felt that his brain had been infused poisoning thoughts. He sensed a death warrant had been activated on his brain by mistake.
The ominous threat was aroused by an external source.
The days were dragging on, weighting their new misery, and the old man was embracing with devotion the above conviction, nourishing it as the Saviour of his humanity ; the embroilement coincided with his losing speed of thought.
Our shaken convictions are often replaced by other soothing sister convictions.
Originated by subjective and insistant feelings, these convictions serve us like crutches to an invalid, impairing our judgment.
Their birth is achieved at great pace, which may surprise more than one astute observer.
They bear strong likeness to the former ones, but are freshly moulded and thus fallible, although reliable for a while...
The old man was craving for them, being addicted to immuable convictions.
He was not aware that they prevented him from grasping reality.
His acceptance of the verdict became subject to one non contestable palliative clause stating that his brain was the fallen hostage of a disguised enemy, propagating dissension among troops of innocent neural cells. The old man nailed to his chair, devoted days to the never ending draft of an enemy list ranking their potential damage. Names were inscribed and then withdrawn to be reinscribed again. Consulting the newspaper’ obituary was becoming a major task of strategic importance.
Each day, the list of suspects was shown emphatically to an imaginary and silent police force. The old man did not ponder on their intriguing silence.
It was in conformity with an expected obedience.
Their ascribed duty was to remain at his side waiting for orders to be dispatched.
The old man was working on it, relentless.
Doctors’ unpleasant verdict ignores dismissal and roots like bad grass in our brain. Our endeavours to pull up the weeds may worsen the symptoms, and leave the trail of a self induced stress.
A second league of symptoms misinterpret the trail and with celerity, raise up.
Coping with the ghastly reality of losing our best asset is a delicate issue, hardly manageable, by the captive asset, itself subject to an unprecedented and severe attack.
Asset retention requests some mental adjustement in order to become bearable.
Such adjustement is performed by changing our mental perception.
The veils of hope provided him momentarily relief but they were getting weary, and the old man was inclined to blame an hypothetical adversary. Fustigation was a tempting but sterile weapon that the old man favored with vindictiveness in his present state.
We all have enemies in our vicinity.
Real and imaginary ones, waiting in dark recesses, for the ripe moment to stab us in the back.
The old man had estimated their stature and could foresee their repeated assaults. Human beings were predictable to him, they were incarnated with flesh, and negociation leading to bribery was a current option, he was not reluctant to use.
Unfortunately, for his own sake, the old man was not in a position to negociate with anyone. The negociating table was in his brain, not anywhere else.
Ill advised by his inflated ego, he had not anticipated his brain could be an exposed target.
He was guilty for having let in, a poluted thought.
An empowered thought, able to cast a spell on his glial cells and turn them around against him.
A murderous thought that would not release its grip.
A thought that resisted him.
Once more, the old man was brought back to his own translated reality.
He figured that, his way out requested to scheme with the remaining healthy neural cells, a safe and reliable schield pattern applicable to the regions of his brain, yet unharmed. To his dismay, the doctors would not predict with accuracy when the looming invasion would take place.
The invasion had already started, but his memory refused to store the information. Old memories propagated by the unwanted dreams, were interfering and impairing the learning of new information. Once, the information was digested by his memory, he was experiencing difficulties in storing it. Thus, immediate memories were not properly consolidated. Action seemed compulsory but not achievable, as the old man was experiencing dizzyness and the beginning of convulsions.
Fighting a sly invisible entity, required to parameter additional weaponry in order to preserve as long as he could, his neural functionalities. Conventional treatments proved to be a questionable schield, as they did not guarantee the destruction of infidel cells.
Perhaps, a coercive force would counteract his belligerent adversary,
Perhaps, such a force would demagnetize the cells under evil influence...
The drifting and spiraling thoughts were heard by the works of art, unable to keep their ears shut.
They were the captive witnesses of the varying frequencies of the old man’s deteriorating mental state. His incremental agitation was obvious, and they felt powerless as their caretaker did not seem to hear their thoughts of solace.
But then, who would hear them ?
The old man certainly was deaf to them.
They listened to him intensely and heard him yell inarticulate threats of repressive measures, which made them shiver. He was declaring war and they were soon to be engulfed in it. The senior members of the collection were adamant. The art community of the web had to be diligently informed of the risks of such a war. Its implications were tremendous and would affect all.
Unity was key in troubled times, and they needed to build awareness.
They needed to save the old man from himself at their own peril.
The old man’s thoughts of aggregated data were building up
Some thoughts seemed to repeat the same message and the old man could be under the influence of false memories.
The works of art do not have the ability to create false memories.
The eminent members of the old man’s collection had the ability to think and exchange thoughts.
The books had been for years under the yoke of one of the old books.
His knowledge of the intricacies of war as well as his wisdom were undisputed.
He would prove to be an essential character in our story.
The works of art sent pleading thoughts, as they needed his involvement and guidance.
They assigned him to be the leading scribe of the old man’s soliloquies, in spite of his harsh protests that he was no medical scribe. He pestered about being off duty, as he no longer belonged to the workforce, having served so many ungrateful brains. Careless handling perpetrated over the centuries had stained his delicate flesh.
He was shut for his own safety and intended to remain so.
Former dean of the Royal Academy of Military Books, he was living a solitary existence. Besides, his ink should not be wasted on fallacious emergencies. In order to fully express his disdain, he fell on his side, hiding his proud back which was engraved with gold letters. Its disapproving noise went unnoticed by the old man but provoked a hard and fulminating thought from the other books.
The old book did not waive a page.
His pages resenting the forced assignement, remained tight together, resolutely cohesive. The other books were freting about his lack of concern and consulted one another; They decided to threat to cover him with their own dust if they had to.
With a noisy sigh of his pages, the old book gave in.
The Military Academy's preached discipline had moulded him into what he was today, and he was not letting any one forget it. Often, he would share some of his pages about Caesar’s conquest of Gaul which produced the unvariable effect of putting to sleep the works of art. Unvariably too, he would shake violently his pages, as a mark of disapproval at their lack of civility. This ritual had regulated countless nights, and the works of art had grown accustumed to his emphatic tone of thought, although no one admitted it.
As to the old book, the snoring was a repeated insult to his delicate ears, and he would not miss it.
Over the years, he had become quite sensitive about his personal hygiene. Every day he was longing to be the first to be dusted. He dreaded both dust and humidity as would any book, willing to preserve his life. He pondered on the attitude of his peers, puzzled.
The old book adressed a solemn thought which he paused for a moment, to give it full potency.
He stressed that performing his task should not imply a physical involvement from him. He recommended that the flow of thoughts of the old man should be divided in two main groups : the emotion driven thoughts and the data carrying thoughts. The data carrying thoughts themselves subject to a specific encoding in order to palliate the old man’s progressive memory. The works of art did not understan the full extend of his plan but agreed that he would pilot both the daily reporting and the young scribes.
He baptised the mission Data Track refering to the extraction of meaningful data, its encoding and efficient storage. They bowed to his superior knowledge, partly relieved.
His contribution would be rewarded in due course, should they survive to the mission.
The precious reports would fuel the open contreversial debates about to take place.
They would predict their future.
The old book knew only too well that he just signed for an uncertain future, and kept his thought to himself. He vaguely sensed that the old man had already changed their future. Although he did not know with accuracy how, they were all entering a new era and there would be no turning back.
He could not resist to warn dryly, that the inks recording the changing moods, damped his integrity with acidity and that he should not be held responsible for his peers’ plausible contamination. Many brave volunteers would be commissioned to sacrifice with alacrity their soul pages if necessary, for the sake of the art community. But some of the books were already lending their ears elsewhere. If they had listened more carefully they would have understood the irreversible consequences of their involvement.
The old book, had not take notice that a parchment had grasped the full extent of his warning and was degrading consequently; microorganisms were attacking the organic materials of his substrate and he knew no one would interfere to stop them.
Meanwhile, bewildered, some other works of art watched the old man fight with some obscure counterpart who was skillfully dodging his frantic moves. Panting, he was trying to catch a disobedient breath, one of too many.
The forces were uneven, and they felt his lack of judgement, although they lacked information about the enemy. Given the alarming signals, a surveillance elite team should be implemented.
The old man gave them a wild stare but they failed to catch its meaning, as they were focusing on the priority measures to adopt. That day, the works of art did not reach a full consensus but they agreed on one thought :
They had to stop the old man from being carried away by a turbulent current of thoughts.
They needed him to come to his senses.
They did not know that these varying frequencies were occuring across his brain regions nor did they seem preoccupied by the technicalities. They had not the ability to foresee that the old man would have frequent unsynchronized moments of non consciousness, although he seemed fully awake.
They were not aware that his confusion could increase in intensity.
Undesirable mutations of the brain provoke an emergency shift of convictions and the sudden rush of rippling emotions.
The flow of emotions impacts on our vicinity, compelled to react accordingly.
We underestimate the impact of propagated thoughts and emotions as their course is not clearly visible to us.
Works of art remembered what they heard and saw that day, and built memories.
They recalled touch, image, sound, but above all words.
The belligerent words would be ringing for a long time in their ears.
The words of the old man although hardly articulate, slapped canvases, scratched glass and metal, stained papers, and disturbed the usual quietness of the books; The desertion of thoughts in the old man brain was comparable with the works of art’desertion from neutral silence.
Change meant exposure.
The implicit memories rung the end of gentle ageing, and left scars.
These memories although at first not clearly understood, were retained by the works of art.
The retention would lead to entrapment.
The old man assumed that his possessions were immune to him and his predicament.
The second episode would prove him wrong.
Books could think, but not as fast.
Unlike the human brain they lacked plasticity and were formated by their content which was not malleable in principle.
The books of our story had the exceptional ability to think and decide for themselves.
They were granted a conscience, but had not until now, much reason to use it or challenge its boundaries.
The old book along with his peers, took for granted their cognitive abilities and did not question them. In his view, there was nothing much to say about it.
He believed that books had neutral frequencies as opposed to the variable frequencies emitted by a human thought. Books emitted variable frequencies when read by human beings.
They were enslaved to the human brain and the old book believed their dependance was invariant.
Centuries elapsed, and the old book did not ponder on the intricacies of the human thought.
Nevertheless, with his usual peremptory tone of thought and assurance, the old book had entrusted one of his compatriots as Second in command, assigned to split fairly the work between the reporting books according to their alleged number of pages and blank margin available.
The books exclusively composed of text were considered useful.
The larger portions of work being assigned to the thick books.
The smaller books would handle the keywords.
The global strategy was to identify within the given thoughts, the fragmented words and the complete words, constituing the gross heterogeneous load of preliminary data.
The old book would assess their meaning in an ultimate phase, which was not scheduled yet.
Unfortunately, the unpredictable mood variations of the old man did not ease their task, and the assessment turned to be obsolete before its completion, as it was distanced by the variating mood pattern of the old man. Further more, the old man’s thoughts although drifting, showed restiveness, and the books had scarce time to register them properly and by order of appearance. Bits of informative thoughts lacking completion, interfered with emotional thoughts, creating vast amounts of unstored data. Together with thoughts of variable velocity and variable completeness, they contributed to create a paramount of general confusion.
The flow of data was erratic and mismanaged.
But then, who could isolate the trajectory of a thought ?
Some thoughts came isolated or were joint to other thoughts producing a chain of thoughts.
Clouds of thoughts were demanding encoding at the same time.
The deleterious mutation of thoughts made their detection, evaluation and recording unsustainable in the long run.
The segregation of thoughts taking into account their variable velocity, requested time and more alloted ressources. Besides going through the unprecedented stress of altering the content of their pages, the scribe books were experiencing the lack of time, for the very first time.
Books have an interesting perception of time.
They value slowness more than anything else and express no inclination to explore the dynamics of time.
The experiment of change would bring dissenting perceptions about time and would generate dissenting behaviors.
For centuries, time velocity was not a major concern.
Some of the books knew about immortality, and those who did not, were looking forward to it
Their perception was unanimous and time was therefore considered linear.
But, the old man’s thinking disorder had changed the odds.
The books were not monitored to track the old man's lapses as they were not able to measure time.
They could not grasp the duration of time between the lapses as they were caught by surprise.
The Second in command tried his best but could not catch up, as the load of unstored data was piling up.
He was facing now, the excruciating dilemma to find a safe storage for the leaking load, urgently.
The books were nearly all on duty and they were no spare volunteers.
The books covered with ornate marginalia exceptionally painted with images were exempted and the illuminated books with crowded margin had been spared until now.
As to the leaves of the manuscripts they had not been involved yet in the reporting.The dismembered manuscripts were enriched with attractive borders, initial letters and line endings in color. He recalled that some were illuminated with burnished gold or silver.
How could he possibly persuade them to donate a few leaves ?
He dismissed what seemed an heresy, hoping none heard him and least of all the reader.
The Second in command remained stoical, but he had started to loose his pages.
The pages starved by the loss of adhesive, would fall one after the other and he did not call them back.
Soon, his cover would be bold of pages and the pages lay miserably on the cold, and unconcerned floor.
He sent a farewell thought to his endpapers unglued from the cover at the hinge.
The book sent an angry thought to the conservator who had failed to test the pH value of his glue.
His substrate was highly sensitive but it was too late to let anyone know.
At this stage, he was tempted to resign from his mission, and the death knell of his incompetence became unbearable. The coward idea of resignment flirted with him, and activated his loss of vigilance together with his fall of the shelf.
The Second in command fell on his spine which hurt.
His fall seemed to last a very long time but he was not sure.
During his fall, he managed to shut his cover, hoping for a lenient after life.
His loss of vigilance intensified the drop offs in task performance, among the scribe books, till it became obvious that they could not sustain a fast pace.
The scribe books can erase, correct or modify a load of data although they are not known to have adaptive abilities.
They erase from their pages the original text and provide room for the old man’s thoughts but by inducing a permutation, they accelerate their own degradation.
Such processing allows no regression.
In spite of the old book’s recent and tedious lectures on methodology, the team of scribes was unprepared for such a task and did not cope with the pressure.
Overcoming his misanthropy and his despise of recent editions, the old book was devoting much effort and concentration, in his briefing sessions.
But he could not infuse centuries of experience.
As they were in close contact with the old man, the old book instructed them to prohibit access to the old man's mixed thoughts, to prevent infection. He advised them to stick to recording and read as less as possible.
Reading could prove dangerous...
But he could not prevent the contamination of rippling emotions among the troop of volunteers.
Rapidly the scribe books became outnumbered by emotional thoughts which led some to suicide.
Corpses of books lay on their back motionless, the pages wide open exposed to air, humidity and dust.
The remaining scribes were inscribing and pemuting words as fast as they could, mixing words of emotion with words of data which fired up the anger of the old book, who witnessed the unproductive frenzy.
The pages had become a fierce battleground for words.
They were enduring serious surface tension due to the oscillation of words, who were struggling for space.
The uncontrolled wrestling damaged many letters on the land of saturated pages.
The injured letters attempted to recoil but had no where to flee and united together forming a pile of useless letters. The messy pile was deliberately shuned by healthy words who condemned the outcasts to brave the agony of thirst.
No ink was provided.
When they died, the remaining letters buried them hurriedly, soiling pages with brownish spots.
No one prayed for the departed.
No one missed them.
As to the smaller scribes, they were unable to pinpoint the keywords, and their perception was blurred by the different frequencies of words.
Their discrimination was echoed the words themselves :
Neutral words tried to temper the negative words, who were in turn, challenged by the positive words.
High frequency words were misleading the scribes on their importance, while low frequency words were either neglected or forgotten, in the formless load of unstored data.
While the thick books misunderstood the warning of the old book and took at heart to inscribe every coming thought.
They were facing incomplete thoughts lacking essential threads of connection carrying sometimes emotion driven data.
The reporting, was becoming a never ending process.
The old book was in the grip of anger, but secretly admitted that the dissociation of meaningful thoughts, together with the dissociation of words into specific categories, was crushing them.
He came to the conclusion that some thoughts managed their way through the filter of the data track.
They trailed with them, essential cross linked information that was lost unless, the old man recollected his own thoughts, and played these specific thoughts again.
The old book wondered whether recollection meant knowledge.
Recollection was to be understood as the reconstruction of information, a painful process similar to the one performed by the scribes. But he was not sure about the accuracy of the reconstruction. Besides, the thinking disorder of the old man certainly did not help the nerve cells.
Was the old man able to update his memory to retrieve previous encoded information ?
What if the thinking disorder impaired the consolidation of information, and thus the retrieval of the original memory ?
The old book could not linger on that thought long enough, to grasp its significance.
He gave his full attention back to the other books and once again tried to temper himself.
His repressed anger was turning into bitterness and would arouse tears among the juvenile scribes who were sadly aware of it. The acute sadness damped their pages becoming unsuitable for the landing of information.
The scribe books together could not tell the provenance of the words.
Some were deserters, others had been misdirected and the breaking of the chain of words did not help.
Loose and disoriented words surely had little weight, compared to a chain of words translating a given thought.
Hence, they were judged as a burden by all.
Their treatment and adequate storage became an ordeal both for the words themselves, and for the scribes.
Whether the release source was emotional or data driven, words presented themselves boldly, unprepared to suffer the offence of a non contestable refusal from the pages.
Long term residents were forced to move out of their land.
Recently filled pages could under no circunstances be emptied for new migrating words.
They would not endure another violation of their content that would affect their properties.
Besides, there were already in shortage of ink.
Secret inventories of disposable ink were made and hidden to the old book by the other scribes who were under pressure from their own pages.
Although they were not directly involved in the recording of thoughts, the illuminated books experienced fear and consequently the start of change. They no longer remained in the dark as they wished to witness the results of the reporting.
Their ruling lines had disappeared, and they feared for their organic dyes. Some were alarmed by a red vermillion pigment which was turning into a dark substance as it was exposed to light.
Dissension among the scribes books took place as they realized the Second in command had released his attention and collapsed in the dark abyss of shame.
One young scribe zealously suggested, to hunt for the missing words, convinced they might yield more relevant information than the complete words. Missing words or incomplete words contained massive information that the old man was receding deep down in his conscience, waiting to be released.
In his elaborate reasoning, missing words were the expression of random walks dispersed in several dimensions, an infinite number of times. They deserved a thorough encoding/ retrieval exploration and he was volunteering to lead the march.
Seeking acquiescence he added, they should not be banished from recording and would certainly benefit from a specific storage with encoding numbers.
Numbers would save a hefty amount of place on the books pages and would be the store house of words.
No one paid attention to him, so he shrugged another thought and resumed with his previous task.
Frustration assailed the refused words colluding with one another.
The old book realized with clarity that words themselves had a conscience.
The effects of non orbiting collisions were inevitable.
The frequencies of words translated their experimental change of orbit and their struggle for survival.
Words vanished into thin air as they could not go back to their emitting source.
The waste of words made the old book sigh, and he tried to rescue a few, but soon it was not enough. They kept tumbling at his pages for asylum, but his coveted pages were already busy, integrating previous words.
Words were interacting with one another as thoughts interact in a human brain.
His own thoughts were interacting with one another, with words interacting with each other.
The letters of each word, interacting with one another, and behind each letter, a number would shape or unshape a word, a sentence, a thought, a world, finally a whole universe.
In the case of the old man, a bunch of strong headed words, had deserted thoughts on their free will, leaving their related thoughts to face a doomed incompleteness...
While the old book was absorbed with his own thoughts,
More pragmatic scribes, decided to form a labor union to defend their rights and their own spine.
They threatened to go on strike claiming fair working conditions.
The old book was tempted to dismiss them, but reconsidered it.
Their conspiracy was magnifying the situation, that could do without it.
So, he decided to hush it up by setting the model of an exemplary attitude.
His nights would be devoted to the clearing of superfluous reported thoughts which were delaying the mission.
He did proceed, and his own pages were filled with words disposed at random, and soon no breathing margin or space was left. He went on night after night, convinced that the completion of the word fragments, was compulsory for reaching an optimized configuration.
The old book in his mind and heart resolved, that incompleteness was ludicrous and created disorder.
As a military book, his duty induced him to fight it as long as he lived.
He sent several thoughts for rescue to the loose drawings in their respective drawers, expecting the framed canvases of the paintings to be unfit for the recording.
To his relief, they responded favororably but agreed only to donate their backs.
They did not wish foreign words to cover or interfere with their composition.
Thoughts with inherent words were consequently inscribed on their backs.
The old book had not taken into account, that the drawings compositions made of ink, pencil, and charcoal are susceptible materials, probably as sensitive as their substrate, although in a different way.
He kept his dear leaves, deaf to the bitter criticism of the scribe books and their elite composed of illuminated books of Hours and Graduals.
The graduals sent burning thoughts to the loose drawings who were assigned a desultory portion of work, while they were donating without compensation, both sides of their pages. They pointed out that the loose drawings were indeed careful to endure less exposure. The graduals reminded they had been for centuries devoutly embracing liturgical celebrations. Secular issues were breaching their monastic rules.
One of the drawings responded to the scribe books with vile acrimony, accusing all of them of pride and prejudice. When he was done with his invective, he was declared unfit for the mission.
His paper had toned as a result of his mental wrestling with the books.
The books experienced jealousy, resentment and change.
The old book was worried but still reluctant to spread the news about the old man's faltering speech.
The briefing session agenda with the works of art, would deal first with the thinking disorder.
His reports were transmitted with haste, but not in due time and the others kept freting with impatience.
To his dismay, they would not postpone this meeting and the old book was dreading it.
One gloomy afternoon, the old book was summoned by the elected majority of works of art to present his work.
The sleepless nights were beginning to leave wrinkles on him.
His pages were creased and his cover had lost its pristine allure showing edge wear.
He tried to tidy up his feathery pages with deckle edges, but only succeded in betraying his own acid sweat.
The works of art looked at him stunned by his unfamiliar appearance and some of them chuckled; the old book’s courage almost faltered and for the first time of his glorious existence, he bent forward to mask his embarassment. The other works of art had never witnessed an old book take the risk to bent in half and they were further surprised. His own pages resented the careless move and whined about it.
The old book cleared his thought, stood up straight painfully and presented his work with due ceremony.
The others were surrounding him, ready to make mental notes and this time no one chuckled.
The old book had been reporting for two hours now, standing unstable on his cover, and he was feeling old and wary.
The listening works of art were deeply affected by the frequencies of the words.
They were emotionally disturbed in their former confidence.
The words were unquestionably damaging, but it was to late to reverse the hearing.
Furniture and paintings drunk every frequency of the poisonous words : the veneer and marquetry endured the flexing of the wood. The coatings of the surface reacted with a chemical degradation that would become apparent in the next episodes.
The paintings felt that the resistance of their canvas was challenged.
One of them attempted to convince his canvas not to extend. Another painting could not prevent the pictorial layers who contained unstable pigments, to be deeply affected. Such unstable pigments would end up discolored and produce cross effects with the binding medium.
Later, an unexpected silence welcomed the old book's last thought.
One of them broke the thick silence and sent a perfidious thought about the lack of tune between the reports. There was a gap between the reports which was most unpleasant.
Without formality, he bluntly accused the old book of sabotage.
The old book turned around, flabbergasted by the accusation.
He felt he was badly stabbed in the back.
He checked his cover, looking for a large trail of ink but did not see any.
He then paused panting, and replied that reporting the old man’s thoughts, contributed to alleviate the burden of too many thoughts roting in his attacked brain.
Old thoughts were reported in order to make room for the new ones.
His methodology allowed the old man to rest at least...
He stressed the surveillance team's lack of initiative and suggested that they should be placed under his management. They were supposed to screen thoughts in the first place, and he wished he could have briefed them before they started the clearing of thoughts.
He was certain that his imput would have made a noticeable difference in the transmission to the scribe books.
The works of art had first, balanced between mirrors and glass objects, in their ignition of roles and responsabilities.
Glass objects were bearing individual internal pattern of wear and flaws such as bubbles, and rendered a conspicuously distorted image information.
They conveyed scattered thoughts of their previous owners which were entwined with their identity.
Besides their presumptive rarity, the antique mirrors were respected for their unrivalled ability to reflect faithfully, informative images.
Such admirable trait made them highly suitable recruits.
The surveillance team was therefore composed of antique mirrors with their original mercury silvered plate, starting to show uneven fading. The old book had noticed that the mirrors showed physical evidence of exposure to intense external mental stimulus.
The uneven fading was the indication of a memory engram...
The lasting change was a mine of information about the old man.
The maturation of the change although unpredictable, if it did occur, surely induced cross effects.
Unfortunately, the works of art lacked clarity about the role and goal of mirrors.
Their lack of role clarity had undermined the mission right from the start, but they had no prescience of it.
They wrongly assumed that reflection, meant accurate treatment of data.
The antique mirrors’ mission was to reflect and clear conscious thoughts from unconscious ones.
The mirrors had performed partially their assignement by reflecting the thoughts of the old man ; but they had superposed the thoughts in a reversed form and had mixed his levels of consciousness.
Indeed, the mirrors could not regulate the channels of thoughts nor their mutual permeability.
Although they naturally established a reflecting connection with the old man’s brain, such connection was loose in spite of the fact that the superposition of thoughts allowed the instant reflection of words, both complete and incomplete. The superposition of reflected thoughts was achieved at a fast pace with thoughts reflected at the same time, in a superposed state.
The invertion was unavoidable and prevented an efficient storage.
The invertion of thoughts and words generated gap junctions between thoughts and numerous misunderstandings.
Furthermore, to derive meaning from the channel of thoughts, mirrors needed to recognize the source of thoughts. Thoughts were cross linked and interconnected, with couplings of words thus, impacting the overall and singular meaning.
The superposition of information would soon lessen the ability of the mirrors to reflect and produce an irreversible darkening of their glass.
One of the works of art suggested that the surveillance team should be split in two, enabling one group to report directly to the old book and the other to them directly. The old book thanked the assembly but replied that he was concerned about preserving the memory of the mirrors. He feared a mishandling could provoke a memory interference or worse a memory wipe, which would result in an irreversible loss of data.
Besides no one knew their storage average capacity
His last comment created a ripple of emotions among the community, some of the members arguing that they were still expecting the old book's action plan which was cruelly missing.
The works of art felt unconfortable.
One of the works of art who had basic notions in neuroscience thought, that he had never heard that thoughts could rot in someone’s brain.
This was unheard and hard to swallow.
Thoughts were not made of flesh and therefore could not rot...
The old book read that thought and replied with another thought, arguing that the thoughts of the old man were drifting away from his consciousness, and needed to be rescued along with the residue of data, before poluting other thoughts. The roting was to be understood in an abstract sense, as the preservation of information.
His oponent raised the fact that the duality between the old man’s thoughts were not their concern and that the old book’s approach between the gentle thoughts and the bad ones was far fetched.
They were not interested by the dualist position of the old man’s thoughts.
The process was irrelevant as far as he was concerned ;
Besides, consciousness was still mysterious for many of them, and should remain that way.
Why induce panic when there was no need ?
The other works of art started fidgeting with mixed thoughts.
They urgently needed a global strategy and the above dialectic on consciousness’ retention of thoughts, exceeded their patience.
The old book was kindly asked to epitomize his reporting, sparing them futile and irrelevant technicalities.
The old book allegiant to the assembly, felt compelled to confess that the supervision and correction together with the management of the remaining scribes, delayed him and consequently the reports did not translate on time, the old man’ continuing variations of state. Indeed, the presented reports were filled with information about the old man, but they were lacking the old book’s pragmatic reasoning and insight.
A marble sculpture feared the abrasive impact of the old man’s thoughts. Time had inflicted him missing parts, and he had a mended fracture that was particularly sensitive to environmental change. Lately, a network of thin cracks had started invading his surface.
He sent a pompous thought, about modifying the genes of a living cell.
The information had been released recently on the web and he was proud to share it with the other members.
He gave a contemptous thought to the old book and went on about halting the old man’s thinking disorder.
Perhaps, a microsurgery could delete and replace specific bits of DNA.
The old book raised his cover and prayed the Lord of books to infuse him strengh.
He chose a slow but balanced thought, to reply that the tumor was too deeply anchored to consider it.
The old book was sweating now, and his load of data was diluting...
If memory was indeed the result of growth processes in the neuronal circuits of the human brain that encode the freshly acquired information; the same did not apply to the old book or any other book. Their outcome was certainly not growth but disturbed stability.
A rare long case clock veneered in bois de rose, silenced him with a musical tune. The clock startled the works of art who realized that the precious wood was turning black.
The old book finally broke the news about the old man's faltering of speech being synchronized with the fall of his Second in command. The old book added that interactions between word frequency and emotion were observed during the recording by the scribe books, and most of them had been contaminated.
He was harshsly reminded, that he was drifting them away from their core purpose.
The meetings were not meant to make discoveries in the field of neuroscience but simply at understanding with clarity if possible, the variations of the old man.
They needed to set a state of emergency and the old book was procrastinating them.
The old book fell on his cover, indifferent to bump his vulnerable corners.
He was exhausted and disillusioned.
The works of art realized with concern that the old book was under severe stress and needed substantial help to maintain his productivity. Someone enquired about his dust cover to protect him from further exposure, whilst the others decided to call on the United Nations of Books, the UNB, diligently.
They had to break the news about the the old man’s predicament and how they were involved in it.
They decided to send a long thought as they departed from the briefing session.
One of the small paintings had remained silent during the contention.
He could not fail to notice that no matter how much exhausted, the old book had cared to preserve from exposure, his rare uncut leaves. The painting knew only too well what the untrimmed edges meant for the old book.
He treasured their non violation that set him apart from recent editions.
He smiled broadly for a while, and by doing so, he created a crack pattern on the pictorial surface. The pattern differed from the usual fine cracks produced on a gently ageing pictorial surface. The small painting did not notice the difference as his gaze was focusing on several opaque crusts noticeable on the surface of a modern painting, facing him on the wall. He did not remember having seen them before and wondered whether the modern painting could be treated.
Meanwhile, the antique mirrors had been agitated for some time now.
They were boiling with impatience to be discharged in order to rest their glass, but the shift of mirrors could not take place.
Their glass was frosted by the old man’s fixed stare on them.
They were paralysed by him, unable to move.
Unable to reject the reflection of the old man, they were experiencing a moment of inertia.
The old man was awake and staring at them.
In this episode, the works of art experience a leap change of matter with no smooth transition from one phase to the other.
They illustrate the principle that matter maintains its current state both physical and chemical, unless acted upon by an external force, such force being a mere thought or a pack of thoughts.
The old book had been on a sick leave for a while.
Nevertheless, he had witnessed the scene between the mirrors and the old man with keen interest.
In normal circumstances he would sent a warning signal to the others, but his physical strength and moral fortitude failed him in unison. He resolved to spare his weary leaves, stick to his ink, and remain a silent passive observer.
A condition is changed by its observation whether it is well intended or not, and observing others is nothing but neutral.
Neutrality implies to sequestrate any thought that may induce the subject of observation to change. Then, the boundaries between neutrality and indifference get shady.
The old book was mocked for his misanthropy but had never been accused of callousness.
He belonged to a circle whose members were refractory to outward demonstrations of empathy.
His curiosity was about to be be challenged and he would face the slippery road of decision making.
The old book would be narrowed to two states of observation : observation without intervention or observation with proactive interference, regardless of the limitations he could encounter.
We often undervalue the interloping might of observation.We act on others when observing them. Observation is muted when our thoughts are harnessed. A single thought can initiate an interference if we let it loose.
But then who can tie up a thought ?
Gagged thoughts float and surface stronger than ever.
They do not disappear in a cemetery of unwanted thoughts just for the sake of others.
A repressed thought calls on other thoughts and creates a poll of thoughts. They simply obey to the rule that a lonely thought is likely to miss its destination. A poll of thoughts has a better chance to reach the target object of observation.
The side target is the old man who is not aware that he is being observed by the old book.
For now, his sick leave provided him a providential buffer to observe the old man without any interference clouding his observation.
The old book did not foresee that observation could be hurtful to him. Being on a sick leave did not slow his degradation but activated another level of exposure.
The old book standing as an observer could compare at leisure the thoughts stored by the mirrors and the new thoughts emitted by the old man’s stare.
The old book sensed that the stare was a vector of change.
The amplitude of change was however, unpredictable by the old book.
By staring at the mirrors, the old man had provoked a reactivity and modified their behavior.
From boiling with impatience, the glass had become frosted and expressed rigidness as opposed to motion.
The glass of a mirror acted like water and channeled layers of reflected information.
The mirrors sensed they were being observed and had responded to their mentor.
The powerful observer effect had interrupted the process of information during a moment of inertia that seemed to last a century to the old book.
The old man’s stare stare did not stop the confusion but freezed it on the spot.
The old book turned towards the longcase clock for information, but the clock had stopped measuring time and its mechanism was silent leaving the old book with total imprecision.
The old book looked at the other works of art and understood that the frequencies of their thoughts were momentarily suspended in their course. Being freezed in a given position and momemtum, allowed the works of art to experience a joint state of entanglement but subject to a different mass distribution.
Perhaps, the works of art were cognitively aware of entering a moment of inertia.
Surely, they shared the necessary awareness to measure the scale of synchrony that was achieved.
He imagined sequences of inertia synchronised like a music partition.
Was a moment of inertia unique or part of predictable chained moments of inertia ?
Were they coterminous or like shut doors between separate rooms ?
He thought that it must be the first moment of inertia since he did not remember any previous one.
Nevertheless, he sent an inquisitive thought to the senior paintings and furniture pieces who did not respond.
His thought came back to him trailing its neatly folded question mark, so he took the thought back, puzzled.
After a while, he contemplated the only viable scenario implying that the stare of the old man had activated the pause button.
He marveled at the arcane force of a human thought able to bent the space time for a moment.
He mentally pictured it, and wondered about its duration without questioning its coherence.
The reversibility of the moment of inertia and its possible recurrence were as mysterious to him as a black hole in the universe beyond which no information can escape being held by an invisible boundary.
The old book thought that inertia brought a happy end to the dissidence he endured in the previous episode.
His irreverant thought felt like a breath of long forgotten youth, and he wished he could have laughed.
Books could not laugh without shaking their leaves, so he did not attempt to do so.
The old book wondered then the reason why his thoughts were still in motion.
His cognitive ability to think and observe was indeed intact.
The old man had spared the old book.
His stare had missed him or worse, had forgotten to look for him.
There was no other plausible reason to be excluded from a joint entanglement.
The brief moment of elation vanished and the old book recalled the ingratefulness of the universe towards him. The old book had never inspired feelings of love from others.
The old man had never bothered to inspire feelings of love nor to receive any.
The old book and the old man were entangled with one another, in spite of the fact they were spatially separated. Both were involved in observing the works of art.
However, the old book was one step ahead the old man or he believed he was; He observed without being observed by the old man and could hear the old man thinking.
But the old book was chained by his crave for attention and recognition.
The old book suddently realized that he was chosen to capture the images of the moment of inertia in order to report its observation to the works of art. The old book realized his own importance and his leaves moved gently in acquiescence.
He had been chosen to observe, capture and report each moment of inertia in order to compare them.
He remembered his collapse now.
He had fallen into unconsciousness and he was surprised to be back from its dense core.
He did not fall in a disgrace state of matter but had been elevated to a new position worthy of him.
Meanwhile the old man absorbed in his own observation, discerned the mirrors had been involved in an intense and abnormal activity.
The mirrors had been processing thoughts.
The surveillance team welcomed moments of inertia, as they brought calm and poise to their glass.
But the old man’s reflection had reversed the ruling principle.
The moment of inertia was unique to each mirror and meant a redistribution of their presumed rigidness of body. Such distribution would affect their physical properties and alter the transmission of information to the scribe books.
The mirrors magnified the moments of inertia and following redistribution, producing interference patterns.
The works of art looking at the old man reflection(s) in the mirrors experienced a moment of inertia followed by a sequence of distribution of their mass and state of condition.
The old man was standing in the hall of mirrors.
He stood very close to the glass of the mirrors handling a lens in his unstable hand.
He noticed that thoughts were incised producing a number of thoughts, responsible for the darkening of the glass. The dark coating of the glass reminded him of the hard steelplate of an engraving.
The lines of thoughts were incised with what resembled a graver or a burin with dense lines and the edges of the lines were thin and close together. The variation in thickness of hundreds of lines and angle of lines were revealed by his lens. Each word looked like an elaborate design but he noticed that the last lines were less sharp as if the plate had been used over a hundred times. Further more, some lines were unfinished, short stopped in motion.
He looked around searching for printed engravings but there were none.
Besides there was no trace of ink on the glass of the mirrors.
He checked for his own image but did not find it.
Instead he saw that the glass had frosted, trapping a myriad of letters that were on the verge of overlapping the gilt wood frame of the mirrors.
He seemed surprised that the glass could frost and wondered why nothing looked familiar.
The old man did not recall his observations and his perception differed from the works of art inner perception.
Indeed, the works of art remembered everything.
The decline of his accessible memory made each observation like a new experience.
Each observation seemed to have erased the previous one and he was longing for the blissful era, when things were left the way he recalled them.
One mirror showed beyond the layers of superposed thoughts, the surface of a familiar painting. On its surface opalescent white spots or inclusions were amplified by the mirror. At first he thought that they were the result of the frosted glass but he was not sure...
The old man adjusted his lens once again and shook his head wondering how a single mirror could have entangled the reflection of a painting.
What was the mirror doing with the painting ?
Before, the old man’s inspection brought no particular surprise and it had become a satisfactory routine where objects remained in their previous condition and assigned location. Books were on the shelves carefully ordered by field of knowledge and size, drawings in their assigned drawers, paintings hanging on walls...
When he reached the library, he realized that the floor had been under siege of a fierce battle.
A significant number of books were scattered and burst open.
The rare block books and vellum illuminated manuscripts were disposed on the mahogany map reading cabinet, with its drop leaf open and the drawers on both sides, were half shut.
The rubricated text of the laying leaves of the manuscripts showed the early signs of discoloration.
He took one block book, opened it carefully and saw that the pages had endured rubbing of their surface, but no page was missing.
He looked around surprised and noticed that no window was open.
Some wild action had taken place.
Someone or something had been disturbed in the course of action.
A tall atlas of maps was displayed on the wood lectern and he did not remember consulting it. The fine colored engraved maps provided an evocative illustration of the medieval conception of the world. Some maps on their verso were animated by grotesque figures who were believed to live in the far ends of the earth. The atlas was printed on antique laid paper made from linen rag pulp, using at least six different molds. The maps were engraved on copper plates and showed the presence of verdigris. The green copper organometallic and instable pigment was known for browning, showing direct evidence of its chromatic alteration.
The paper degraded by verdigris was running through embrittlement and cracking. Fragments of paper were falling out. The old man discovered hand written annotations in the margins. The annotations were lacking the fluidity of the lines of the maps and he suspected they were added by an unreported recent hand. The thumbing indicating a flurry agitation.
Whose hand was it ?
Who was pulling the strings of such reality ?
The old man did not recognize his own writing and attributed the invasive annotations to some unknown disguised and out of reach potency. His last seizure affected his awareness and the memory of events occuring before, during and after the seizures. His complex partial seizures lasted thirthy seconds to two minutes, a meaningful time frame, affecting behavior. The old man during the past months had become his most ferocious enemy expressing entangled bipolar signs of disorder. Unbridled agitation would change to a state of total inertia.
The old man further noticed that some leaves had gone through significant text loss and saw waterstaining of the final quires.
The old man checked for his last rating of the recorded flaws in order to update it, but oddly enough could not find it.
Shaken, he shut slowly the tall book and went to check the paper miniatures.
The recent inventory stated the presence of verdigris, among other pigments. The state of condition confirmed the miniatures were in stable condition although they should be treated with care. Since, they had been confined to their drawers. When he examined them, he saw the verdigris flaking off the central figure and the smudged face of another figure with small holes on the paper. Another had sections missing caused by verdigris degradation staining the verso of the miniatures.
He wondered why the curator had not reported the damage.
He went back to the silent and cold hall of mirrors where his attention was drawn back to the inflated letters. They seemed gasping for air when their respiration had been stopped. He shrugged away the principle of cellular respiration of the letters which was sheer deviance. The thought was not rational and he feared he was engulfed again in a deceptive time wrap or some uncanny dream. The old man was subject to auditory symptoms such as bilateral ringing, buzzing noises or muffled sounds in both ears. He attributed them to his flock of dreams producing muffled or distorted sounds. Probably as distorted as his present pack of interrogations.
He checked each mirror, and each mirror reflected thoughts in a reversed form.The mirrors did not reflect the collection of antique marble sculptures anymore although they were still displayed in the hall.The old man had a nauseous feeling. The words looked familiar but he could not admit they were his own. He consequently rejected them, dismissing they had a ring of resemblance.
When his stare focused on another mirror, they were released in a garbled form.
The old book feared that thoughts would never be chanelled to the scribe books and would delete from the present reality, by the interrogations of the old man observing the mirrors. He ignored the superposition principle allowing a system to exist in more than one state at the same time. The old man’s image had not vanished from the mirrors although it was not within immediate availability.
His image was invisible to him but not to the mirrors.
The old man like the old book, had never been confronted with such confinement.
What influence do we have on a poll of thoughts ?
When they surface, the object of observation is not prepared for them and stands vulnerable.
Our thoughts collides with the object observed, itself experiencing a wave packet reduction.
The old man could not link the thoughts of one mirror to the next and the old book wished he could have printed engravings of what the old man read in a randomly manner.
The loss of information was a sheer waste and there was no scribe book around to scribble a few marginal notes. The old book could not repress his frustration and his spine flustered, causing him physical pain.
The answers were detained by the mirrors and not by the old man’s distressed neural cells.
They were about to disappear because of the old man’ defensive manipulation.
The information was not lost but was superposed in different states that were inextricably linked together.
The old man was looking again at the glass of the previous mirror and this time read no thoughts at all.
He could not see the reflection of his own image either and he believed the sharp cross hatched lines of engraved thoughts were simply masking it.
The old book congratulated himself.
He recalled his warning during the meeting about the mirrors’ memory capacity.
He concluded that the old man’ image had been moved from one place to another, due to an overflow of data.
His image had been displaced to a another storage region of the mirrors.
The old book imagined a restricted area where elements of information were removed from the stack in the reverse order to their compilation. He could not predict that the mirrors would retain the images of the old man to protect the community of works of art from witnessing his physical degradation. The mirrors had multiple adjacent memory regions and of the same type. Before they got frosted in the course of action, the mirrors had activated the internal merge of memory regions.
In the next episode, the works of art would realize that the mirrors only provided access to their conventional memory. Hence, the scribe books had only reported the data available in a portion of their memory.
Meanwhile the old man got enraged to lose control.
As he did not control what he saw, his observation became obtrusive.
He wiped forcibly the glass with his sleeves, and the scratched letters seemed more apparent.
Together with his abrasive thought, the mirrors shivered at the intrusion but showed no apparent motion.
The mirrors never stored in the past the old man’s reflection as there was no need for doing so. His declared illness had modified his conservative appearance and the old man resented its scars whenever he saw them.
The old man tolerated only a desirable image of himself.
Besides, the process of storing thoughts had prevailed over making his image obvious.
The glass remained resolutely void of his face and body image, although they were there, somewhere.
The glass remained however ominously dark.
The old man was now convinced that he was entangled in a nonsensical dream that confiscated his image from his sight.
That partly explained why lately, his conscious states were sensations hard to recollect.
Meanwhile, the old book thought he would find solace in the observation of portrait miniatures; he had always been fond of the whole collection made on ivory. They were usually resting in a dedicated small oak and ebony jewellery table top cabinet, but the old man had taken them out a few days ago together with their related engravings.
They had not attended the last meeting with the other works of art, and the old book now understood the reason of their absence.
What he saw, did not help regulate his previous emotion :
The water sensitive gouache paint and watercolor originally applied had been severely damaged.
The affected areas of color layers were showing advanced loss of paint and spots on the edges close to the rim of the gold frames, were impacting on the legibility of the delicate surface. He feared that both the faded and flaking colors could not be restored and wondered how degraded was the binder of the paint on the organic material. On the reverse a metal foil used to reinforce the thin slice of ivory, was losing its glue. Oddly enough, no miniature seemed in a perfect condition.
He then realized that the miniatures showed small droplets forming on the inner face of their glass.
The varying proportions of silica were known to develop a so-called glass sickness.
The old book knew that the infamous droplets were very alkaline, with a pH close to ten.
The original weeping glass needed urgently to be removed before damaging further the surface.
He made a mental note to advise the old man once the moment of inertia would end but shook his spine with disbelief. The old man had not the ability to read mental thoughts and the old book did not know how long the moment of inertia would last.
How could the old man be so preoccupied with his own image ?
The old man was so self centered that he missed questionning the darkening of the glass.
He saw physical disparate changes but did not link the information to his own state.
He was repressing unwanted information in a deliberate defense mechanism.
The old book had to admit that in the case of the old man, consciousness occured without self-consciousness.
How we observe raises the important question of what to observe.
Judgment may biase observation and become harmful to others.
The old man was neither good or mean in his intentions.
But he was judgmental by nature and expected perfection from his works of art as they mirrored his self presumed perfection.
His complacency made him reluctant to rely on human beings to praise him. Works of art were an ideal audience as they never mirrored ugliness. The old man was censorious of their possible flaws and had purged quite a few from his collection which he intended to be his hedonistic legacy to humanity.
The old man cherished an heliocentric configuration of his balanced universe which suited him perfectly.
Consequently the old man believed that the works of art were safe from diseases.
They faithfully mirrored the kind of beauty he advocated, and he got the rewards of their putative utility.
His observations were loving in his view, meant to confort his set convictions.
The old man did not in his observations consider inevitable mutual interactions.
He observed each work of art as an isolated entity with a closed orbit around him, being the rotating sun on its axis. Such theory was fine until his neural disease altered his rotation.
The components and associated causes of motion were unknown to him.
Over the months, his mental disorder increased and his own thoughts translated his disarray.
The old man had become a participant observer and each observation accelerated the degradation of the works of art.
Observation and degradation became interwoven causing a distortion.
His thoughts had led his possessions directly related to him, in the vortex of his predicament.
Related objects affect each other, regardless of their location and distance between them.
Particles influence each others' action and once matter interacts with another matter, they continue to affect each other like a never ending loop.
Because the old man’s moods were subject to variability, his observation was also subject to variability and produced many copies. The observations were split but entangled in one system observing another system, while interacting with it. The works of art would gravitate towards the old man and progressively lose their own identity and integrity.
The old man went to the drawers to check some double sided old master drawings, and noticed that they were bleeding from their front. He checked the pen and ink drawings where the ink had started discoloring the paper and eat into the paper fibres. He remembered the curator’s dull warning about iron gall ink being self destructive and detrimental to paper. As advised, the contaminated drawings had been treated in order to neutralize the acid produced by the culprit ink, but the old man did not see any improvement.
He checked for some ink and lead white italian drawings and found a small hand written note.
The curator was referring to a significant number of drawings suffering from lead white oxidation which disfigured them. The sulfuration of the lead white was so pronounced, that the degraded areas had turned black. He strongly recommended that the reversion of blackened lead white should be performed within the museum's lab facilities, in a sealed environment. Over the years, he had come across drawings whose inks showed a strong tendancy to bleed or corrode the paper.
Some of his drawings seemed more responsive than others to hydrogen peroxide, to convert darkened lead white to white lead sulfate. When advised that the peroxide conversion treatment could result in a partial color reversion from black to grey only, the old man suspicious as always, had postponed his answer to the curator.
Displeased by what he saw, the old man shut the drawer and cursed both the curator and the universe.
He opened another drawer and picked up a watercolor drawing showing cockling, and what seemed to him as distortion bowing towards the glass of the frame. He sighed and put it back in the drawer struggling to shut it.
His hand took out a misplaced pastel drawing on blue paper, showing fresh colors and the old man concluded with relief that the pigments and dyes had still a good fastness. He put it back with other ink drawings with a swift move.
The powder made of pigments mixed with a gum arabic binder loosened, and left a colored trace on the ink drawings.
He then decided to reach for one of his late favorite books.
The old book had consulted the medieval encyclopedia of diseases listing symptoms, causes, effects, and treatments, but the old man’s disease was not explicitly mentionned. The old book hoped he would be the elected one and experienced a sting of disappointment when the old man picked up the sole edition of a medieval book of medecine with no copies recorded.
The old man believed it to be the repository of the remedy he needed.
He hoped to find revealed to him, God’s plan for his salvation.
His case needed to be reversed and remanded.
The treatise of diseases in its original red cloth, revealed hand colored illustrations and folding engraved plates.
The old man frowned when he saw the flat spine gilt in compartments showing injuries, the title page dust soiled, the large pale stains in upper margin, the foxing and browning throughout and the cracked joints. He noticed for the first time recent tears that were sown up with string. He checked for some leaves that were missing and wondered who took them.
He never bothered to wear white cotton gloves when handling it and wondered if such practice could explain its degradation.
The treatise had endured constant stress as it was directly exposed to the old man's beam of anxieties and leaking fears. The ink had drunk openly the old man's physical and mental sweat, and his endless interrogations had tormented the weary pages, generating the onset of numerous creases and color fading.
The treatise was entrapped by the old man’s unrelenting disease, making it its own.
The book had embraced the old man’s illness and its outcomes.
The old man felt drowsy suddenly and decided to get an early rest.
He shut his eyes wondering if he would wake up to a new reality where his image would be given back to him, afresh.
He wished so and his last thought was that his next observation could not be more unpleasant, than the one he was about to leave behind him.
Appearances can be most deceiving if we are not cautious.
The results of observation are like reflecting prisms connected with one another, like facets of a given geometry.
A first observer sees an unfolded facet, while the second observer sees another.
Both are entangled in their own folded dimension, unaware of observer copies of the dimension.
The observation is a physical reality for one observer, and a mere illusion for the another observer.
The old book had the conviction he had witnessed a moment of inertia, while being preserved of it.
The old man was not engulfed in a moment of inertia and had no recognition of it, but he believed he was both actor and observer of uncanny occurrences.
The old man believed his self image had been confiscated.
The old book presumed that the old man created a new reality which granted him a privileged status over the works of art, while being on an isolated sick leave.
Both the old book and the old man witnessed some sort of disorder.
The former was being trapped in the old man’s reality, while the old man was convinced to be trapped in the imaginary reality of his dream.
Whether their mutual observation was imaginary or not, both perceptions of physical realities were superposed in an overall entropic configuration, where disorder and order are linked in such a way, that one impacted on the other, in an irreversible way.
Neither of them were aware that the marquetry and veneer furniture of the collection had gone from elated expansion to distressed contraction, unaware that the flexing of wood could bear consequences, such as displacement and coating deterioration. As to the gilt furniture, abrasion and other flaws of underlying deterioration of the gold leaf surface, were visible manifestation of displeasure.
As to the mirrors reflected hundreds of dimensions with an increasing encryption of information.
However, the old book and the old man were unaware that the mirrors could be both active and inert, as they showed no emotion. Frosted in one reality, they were still sorting out their encoded information ; in another simultaneous reality, they experienced no freeze, and went on with the chanelling of the old man’s thoughts and self images.
Quantum Bits work differently and can be in a mixed state, in between inertia and action.
As a result, Q-Bits are able to exist in multiple dimensions, at the same time.
The observation of a state can be the paradigm of disorder in one reality, and an erecting order taking place in another reality.
Both realities exist and are corollary.
They may lose significance when isolated, as they are the reflections of the mirrors.
The mirrors relied on an interactive triangle of reflective sources of information, during the moment of inertia:
The old man, the works of art and the old book's thoughts. No information was lost but simply stacked in a specific memory storage. Besides the thoughts and their word frequency, the mirrors also reflected the works of art changing states as well as the old man’s self images.
Indeed, the mirrors occured a change of appearance which was translated in at least two realities.
The irreversible darkening of their glass is a physical state that was observed differently by the old book and the old man. The old book attributed the darkening of the glass to an overflow of information while the old man believed the mirrors had darkened, like the steel plate of some engraving.
Both observations challenge the bondaries of interpretations objectiveness, although the darkening is a true aging process of mirrors.
The measure of disorder is complex when we let our emotions interfere.
In this episode, the reader will navigate between distinct realities.
Whether there is actually a bridge between the realities expressed, shall be revealed.
The inner architecture of the mirrors hides multiple folded dimensions to the naked eye.
The basic eye searches for a self image and does not unveil the inner content of a mirror.
The old man saw the outward beauty of the antique mirrors, but was blind to the intricacy of their system.
The total amount of available memory was evolving.
Their memory was created as we move towards the future, regardless of its uncertainty.
The mirrors realized that they had the ability to adapt themselves, but they could not predict the size of memory needed.
The old book was lured by his own unability to store vast amounts of information.
His misuse of the mirrors was perverting the information provided.
He did not conceive that the mirrors were more than a flat, one dimensional object, merely meant to reflect thoughts or images.
The ability of a system to sort the encoding of information, requests to be formated for order.
Its language may not reflect thoughts and images as they are without reversing them, but the ability to superpose layers of information outpaced by far the scribe books’efficiency.
The scribe books had a limited storage capacity and a slow encoding ability.
They were not formated to retrieve information and replace it by another mode of information.
The mirrors possessed an elaborate inner encoding system which requested testing, to be perfectible.
The transitional stages of disorder were compulsory for achieving an orderly encoding.
The testing was done in the disorderly pattern of repetitive information, which was first chanelled to the scribe books. Soon, their system recognized the redundancy of a sequence of thoughts, and they managed to proceed with the adequate inception of memory storage.
Disorderly behavior was soon replaced by orderly processing.
Ramdom chanelling and distribution of information was superceded by an overall configuration of the sequences.
Encoding was carried on, in spite of the fact that the mirrors failed to predict the occurrence of the old man’repetitive sequences. They managed to reproduced the tone of sequences in their overall globality, while the scribe books inscribed on their margins, incomplete words or complete ones, isolated from a given configuration of thought.
The scribe books focused on the relationship of words between themselves and their possible relevance, while the mirrors disregarded micro analysis, and focused on global significance.
But the scribe books misunderstood the encoding processing of the mirrors, and pestered the mirrors to navigate between the different stored information.
As to the old man, he was still unable to get access to his converted self images.
The old book realized the urgency to ease the retrieval of information.
His inability to understand their language, made him suspect the mirrors to be repressing information.
The old book sent inquisitive thoughts to the mirrors who responded that their memory was available for reading the dynamic configurations of the old man's thoughts.
Each mental state introduced its own configuration, superposed with the other encoded mental states of the old man. Each physical image was the reversed embodiment of a mental state.
The physical states were superposed without possible analytical retrieval.
Indeed, the mirrors focused on the initial and the final state of a sequence of thoughts and considered the intermediate states subordinate.
The old book experienced an increasing tension.
Was the previous moment of inertia considered an intermediate state by the mirrors ?
Was a transient state causing subordination ?
He could not relate to the supposed orderliness expressed by the mirrors which he considered provocative.
The censorship of intermediate states stirred rebellion among the scribe books.
Some books labelled it disorderly incompleteness.
They composed satyrical pamphlets stressing the inadequate display of information, together with the ludicrous ability of the mirrors to reflect the start and the end of matter, with nothing in between.
The mirrors argued on the complex nature of nothingness.
Sequences of thoughts had a wave like behavior on a quantum scale.
A blank space was by no means nothing, but more of a complex optimized spatial construct.
The mirrors shared a fractal perception of an ongoing process with images and thoughts being part of a whole and being redefined as essential parts within the whole.
The use of fractal patterns with finer magnifications, generated additional images onwards.
The result of the old man's captured images was considered a classified information by the mirrors.
Some of the blank spaces sheltered the old man’s shifting visual perceptions of his kernel image.
The interplay of what he perceived of himself, and his actual physical image was superposed to be interpreted by the mirrors, into a new image with different resolutions. The mirrors interpretated the superposed images which were resulting of the conflicting signals projected by the old man. His mental state was leaking on his physical state producing a distorted perception.
The mirrors were confronted to a new issue, with the combination of a real image with a distorted image being both real and deceptive. Such combination was bound to create disorder if released to the scribe books who had low visual acuity.
Observation leads to interpretation of reality. Although they seemed in a state of inertia, the mirrors by superposing images had the ability to fraction images, in order to interpret them, creating an augmented reality.
The old man was right in assuming that his image had been captured by the mirrors.
The capture implied a compulsory conversion of his images into an augmented reality.
The old book sighed, and wondered how he would without their full cooperation, draft a sensible thought of the moment of inertia.
He tried to define it, but only managed to word a triad of negations.
The moment of inertia was not a virtual state, nor a temporal illusion, and it was certainly not unstable.
He witnessed energy thought sources in the last episode.
His own, the old man’s and the works of art degradation.
Degradation was the result of the release of a high flow thought of energy.
The old book would bet his leaves on it.
Degradation happened with a motion and was therefore an energy.
The measure of the old man's released energy thought, ought to be measured by the mirrors.
The dissipative energy was not a source of order but the mirrors to encode it, had to orderly memorize it, hence undergoing change.
As to the works of art, degradation was the measure of their energy.
Their causal response to the old man's observation.
The old book could not imagine that his own observation may have produced an impact.
One of the mirrors followed with interest the old book's pilgrimage of thoughts.
He mentioned that an intermediate state could be stable.
Stability was not the issue, but irreversibility certainly was worth debating during the coming session.
Such comment did not alleviate the old book’s concern.
He was torn between a factual description of what he witnessed and an elaborate thriving speech of the phenomena, that he felt to be real.
Was it a slowdown of time ?
He shook his mended spine.
There was no slow down to relate, but simply a time stretch where thoughts and motion were interrupted for an indefinite period, embedded in an overall sovereign time, where motion was banished.
Except that the old man and the old book were the observers of the stretching, like a double sided mirror.
The old book showed no reaction.
He decided to express his personal viewpoint of the mechanics of inertia.
The mechanism of the longcase clock suddenly rung and the old book knew the works of art were expecting him.
The old book was relating the moment of inertia to the works of art.
He guessed its starting point was the old man's wake up which activated the occurrence.
He described the stare of the old man directly to the mirrors who must have reflected it to some works of art if not all. The proportion was to be measured by the wounded themselves, in private.
The partial impact of the stare was constrained to the structure and spatial location of the mirrors.
He mentioned the old man standing in front of the mirrors, who was convinced to be trapped in a dream.
Works of art do not have dreams.
A stable condition of their matter is not obtained through sleep.
Their state of matter needs stability and cohesion in its dormant motion.
Orderly motion is their prerequisite to age well, but it may be perceived as a disorder of their initial state.
The old book had to clarify what the old man meant by a dream, instead of a reality.
Dissenting opinions with insisting question marks were crossing one another, about which reality was prevailing on the other.
Whose reality was this ?
What were the parameters of analysis for such assumption ?
Did the old book actually share the old man’s visual images ?
What were the boundaries of his neutrality as an observer ?
Through dreams, the old man experienced alternative states of consciousness which enabled him to view different scenes with a distorted perception of surrounding objects such as mirrors.
The old book could not share the same visual imagery as the old man’s but he could hear and give them a mental shape. The old book was convinced that both realities could exist but he could not assert them.
The old man's dream was just an alternative state of consciousness.
The old book wished he could compare the different states as he sensed the main answer lay there.
A mirror whispered to him that mirrors reflected hundreds of dimensions and they could experience inertia in an active state.
But the old book was entangled in his reasoning and did not grasp it.
In the case of the old man, no reality overcame the previous one, but produced a superimposition of images.
Surely the mirrors tunelled the superimposition, which explained their encoding of information.
The old book feared that a clash of realities may have caused by their interaction, the moment of inertia. Superposition of thoughts translated different states of consciousness with different wavelenghts to the mirrors who in turn, reflected to the other works of art a superimposition of realities.
The old book implied that the degradation was happening in different realities at the same time.
One variant of the realities coud have been a moment of inertia.
Some works of art shook their thoughts to disagree.
Inertia did not exist among works of art who were always in latent motion.
Besides, no one except the old book, had recollection of it.
The majority experienced a different reality and they voiced their concern about the old book's objectiveness.
The old book made a mental note to check among his peers, whether recollection meant knowledge.
Since the second episode, he still had no conclusive evidence.
One book had surely an undisputable opinion, before reaching the epilogue of the story.
If realities were overlapping, one could assume that degradation was following its course at a variable velocity according to its reality. The interference of realities could have disrupted the mirrors who had to remodel their encoding and storage strategy.
One should consider hidden and visibles variables impacting on degradation.
The works of art were in an uproar now.
Paintings knew their hidden variables from the start, since their multiple layers had to bear with them for a long time.
Lead & zinc soaps were declared treacherous enemies of the paint layers.
They caused an increased transparency of paint, metal soap aggregation and clear invasive protrusion into paint layers, as well as increased brittleness of layers and efflorescence.
They could be investigated in a mature paint system, or in the early drying phase of the oil medium.
The paintings dreaded the metal-based pigments reacting with their binding oil, hence increasing the transparency of the paint layers being one of the possible variables.
Low levels of lead soaps could either spread through the paint layers, or form large heterogeneous aggregate structures.
Hidden variables were fretting to become visible variables, making their reality available in the upper layers of paintings, to naked eye.
Degradation was merely the declaration of independance of hidden variables becoming a discernable reality.
The sad statement startled the drawings with loose colors, and created a wave of empathy among them.
A painting like most of modern paintings was longing for a protective layer of varnish. He mentioned his sensitivity due to different degrees of porosity in various areas. Cleaning the dirt on his varied surface texture was becoming a real issue which the curator kept on postponing as he feared the surface to be sensitive to aqueous solvents. He wished first to evaluate possible changes induced by a cleaning treatment and had finally scheduled a dry cleaning test on paint samples. The intervention had to stop in terms of boundaries exactly where the original paint layers started.
Other old master paintings needed their repaints to be removed. Residues of varnish, and old over paints had infiltrated the cracks and needed to be removed without smearing the paint surface. The curator was investigating ways to achieve the cleaning without unbalancing the original paint layer.
The removal of a toning layer may affect some pigments specifically, and the correspondance between colors may be altered.
The nature of removed retouching and its replacements, can produce a greater visual effect on the treated painting. An increase in contrast between whites and darks revealed by cleaning can modify the reading.
The longcase clock had remained discreet until now.
Cleaning issues were not a major concern and he despised the display of such emotions.
He was patiently waiting to nail the old book on the dynamics of time, a topic he obviously ignored.
His time of reward was coming as his opinion on time was requested.
He knew that time was a succession of decisions.
So far, little answers were provided during the sessions.
Uncertainty was infecting the works of art's convictions, like a deadly plague.
The path seemed rather steep and unclear, but not to the longcase clock who was consumed with concealed ambition.
How easy it was to infect them all.
A realistic simulation of a moment of inertia was enough to break cohesion.
The mirrors fell into the trap he conceived, which surrounded them.
The simulated moment of inertia was a probability that mirrors mistook for a reality, resulting from observation.
There were no boundaries to the trap, but the ones reflected by the mirrors.
The actors of the trap were entrapping the others.
Reflection of an incepted reality was the salient feature of the trap.
The longcase clock had anticipated that the mirrors would interpret the simulation and reflect it.
Should he repeat the simulation, it would produce a different observation, thereby a new reality.
A variable degradation would occur.
The longcase clock was convinced he had triggered a lethal feature and did not imagine he would fail short of expectations.
The mirrors reflected the simulation, interpreting it with an augmented reality version.
The augmented reality version infected the works of art.
One particular ring of the longcase clock intiated the pre-set simulation and ended it as well.
But for some reason, the old book had not been infected.
The longcase clock had not considered in his timely equation, that one target could avoid exposure and go as far as to question it.
Perhaps the degree and lenght of the simulation were the cause and should be revised.
His equation allowed no random variables.
There are no such variable in a clock mechanism.
Against all odds, the old book had become a variable.
The longcase clock by his simulation, had altered his own settings in order to include himself in the trap sequence. Changing the settings produced an adjustement of his mechanism.
The mechanism was set to end the simulation at a deliberate calculated time beat.
The longcase clock thought about the scribe books inability to measure anything except their own written content.
The longcase clock recognized some sense in the old book's assumption that time had experienced a sort of expansion, but his speech was based on no scientific evidence and would certainly cast him out of the debate.
The old book caught a partial trace of the malevolent thought.
Simulation and trap were the only words he heard of the long thought.
Who simulated a trap ?
Meanwhile a scribe book raised the troubling issue of the various states of degradation.
What caused some to be more vulnerable than others ?
Modern paintings condemned the concentration in their layers, of chrome yellow pigments known to darken due to their limited stability to light.
An old master painting requested to voice his own condition.
The moment of inertia seemed to have intensified the process, as he witnessed further degradation. Curiously he had no recollection of such a moment, and feared to be subject to memory lapses in resonance with the old man. Since the last session, he was experiencing further darkening, additional cracks and surface deformations splitting his appearance, like the prism of a mirror.
He stated that incipient degradation had been traced at an early stage of the drying process of the paint layers, making his pictorial surface most vulnerable. His paint structure was made of over ten different paint layers applied on top of each other which was a clear evidence of an elaborate fine technique except, that each ground layer was still wet, when the top one was applied. The top coat had not bonded well with the surface below it. Wet on wet application of layers, combined with a low porosity, to be understood as a propensity for oil absorption, influenced the drying of the layers. Besides such inconveniences, the painting could not prevent the dispersion within his layers, of arsenic from unstable and degraded pigments.The arsenic was even discernible in the varnish layers covering some crumbly degraded areas. The high concentration of arsenic trioxide was a cause of grievance.
The painting concluded that from the start, he was doomed to a precarious existence.
Another painting argued that for centuries, he endured the chemical reactions of a widely used blue pigment smalt. The pigment known to deteriorate inevitably, lost its colour and caused the oil binding medium to yellow, hence changing the surface morphology, with visual disturbances. The disturbances included drying coarse cracks and patchy degraded/greyed areas (referred to as blanching). The stability of smalt depended on its composition, which could vary as well.
The old book bounced on the afore thought.
The outcome was predictable from the beginning of the conception. Predictability was not the sign of disorder but of an orchestrated, and orderly disorder.
A tangible demonstration, that there was some order and systemization, behind disorder.
The old man's stare had interacted with the matter of the painting. Then, the old master painting had experienced a moment of inertia generating a redistribution of matter. The old master painting had no conscious recollection, but the degradation process had not stopped during the moment of inertia and that was quite a discovery. The old book paused, catching back a leaf that was on the verge of falling, and added that degradation did not request consciousness, to occur.
The longcase clock remarked that there was no evidence at all.
The proportion and velocity rate of degradation had not been measured before and after the moment of inertia. The existence and duration of such a moment was still unprecise. Partially causal interactions did not feed the theory of a new reality prevailing. The vulnerability of the old master painting was unfortunate, but irrelevant in the current debate.
However, to determine the variables before the moment of inertia and after, would help define a correlation between matters
and their spatial position at a given time. The main issue was to determine which reality was prevailing in a temporal order.
The old book neglected to determine his spatial position during the moment of inertia.
The longcase clock thought appropriate to throw a second arrow.
Time was constructed in relation with a network of events connected between themselves with, or without symmetry. As to the predictability of the degradation of the old master painting, it was worth mentioning as a measure only.
The longcase clock longed for a quantifying modeling of the moment of inertia, but he knew the old book could not provide it to him. He postponed his final blow as he was keen to get first, an answer from the old book.
Where was he, when the moment of inertia occured ?
The old book had an inherent perception of time.
His perception was not chronological, and time to him was compressed or streched out.The old book had a subjective assessment of temporal intervals, but he had a strong sense of the present time, although he could not tell its duration.
Intervals at which events occured, were not measurable by him or the other books.
He asserted again, shaking his spine, that the time point of the moment of inertia was benchmarked by the stare of the old man.
The end of it happened, when the old man went to rest.
The longcase clock remarked that the old book had a weak viewpoint of causality. Pointing a finger towards the old man was by no means based on scientific observation. The other works of art agreed that the old book was scarce of words about his spatial angle of observation.
The old book was fumbling with his leaves, and replied that no causal signal travels as fast as a human thought, and human thoughts are not easily predictable...
He did not finish his thought, when the intractable longcase clock, vehemently accused him of having a partial and incomplete view of the event, due to his lack of proximity. Space dependant, he could not investigate simultaneously the interaction between the mirrors and the old man, in the hall of mirrors.
The old book merely witnessed the entanglement of coupled states in the library, although he neither expressed the correlated frequencies nor the initial states.
The event was likeky to be related to the old man's last visit or the curator’s with his careless assistants.
The surveillance team composed of mirrors with multiple perception angles, were not confined to a space geometry, and could therefore report the random event.
The mirrors could reflect simultaneously, both the works of art and the old man.
The mirrors all agreed that the interpretation of the event was unique to each work of art.
Each work of art was exposed differently to the old man, and to the reflection of the mirrors.
The old man clearly interacted with the works of art with his thoughts, although he did not measure himself the damage produced.
The stare of the old man had a wavelengh as well as his thoughts.
The visual perception of his stare was an image which produced a memory engram in each work of art regardless of their spatial location ; the old book's perception had generated a memory engram which was to be taken as an interpretation.
The testimonial of vulnerability granted by some paintings, illustrated the evolution of the memory engram(s) and its main known variables, before the event and after.
The mirrors reminded that the perception of a reality could be interpreted in different dimensions.
Realities could be bridged by the unitary evolution, in a certain direction of the wave function that could be described as a tunelling process leaving behind its intermediate states.
The repeated observation created many entangled realities since the old man’s sickness was declared.
The prevailing reality was neither inevitably empirical nor the most logical, but a joint collective one.
The prevailing reality with a reduction of the wave packet, was leading to a sole path.
A path where the works of art would put aside their dissenting opinions and noble mitigations, to voice one common decision.
The opinions debated in the previous episodes coupled with the observating stare of the old man caused a moment of inertia.
A commune decision would make the recurrence of inertia unecessary.
No other mechanism was responsible for its inception, but uncertainty.
The mirrors then decided to show their main reflected data to enable the assembly to think its future.
The bridge was dual and not compatible with uncertainty and scattered resolutions.
The works of art could endure chemical and physical disorder of their matter, or they could tolerate it together, and share between themselves, the orderly commitment to join the old man in his predicament.
The flaking of frail convictions conducted the works of art to predict their own degradation.
Their prediction reduced the wave packet
The coming accelerated degradation would be the result of growing entropy.
The old book could not differentiate the superimposed layers of different varnishes, repaints, glazes and primary layers. So, he decided to consulted a treatise from the 15th century, and learnt that oil paint was an heterogeneous, multi-layered system involving mixtures of different pigments and additives, bound in an organic medium. Additives when added to binders and paints changed the physical properties of the paint layer.
Several occurences can take place during drying and ageing, as a result of the interaction of the oil binder with pigments according to their composition, saturation and repartition
The old book was surprised by the broad spectrum of degradation and the interrelation of the whole system and its parts. He saw some order in the degradation of an underlying order.
The oil paintings embraced canonical variables of degradation.
Canvases and wood substrates were struggling to maintain the paint layer cohesive. Some wood panels became riddled with tiny wormholes. Moldings and gilt carvings were reported missing on the frame of the mirrors creating a discordant appearance.
Inner stability and appearances were experiencing the impetus for change.
The coloured and translucent glaze layers of oil paintings, were under siege of pigment migration, revealed by a pigment concentration at the surface.
On the surface, the outbreak of blemishes and visual disruptions could not be ignored : an unregulated consensus of local abrasion, missing paint, discoloration and fading of pigments with a loss of vibrancy, and color shifts were acting either isolated, or together, taking advantage of the weak connection between varnish and paint.
In one canvas, areas showed unabraded surface competing with abraded areas.
The surface smooth before abrasion, was becoming open and porous in the abraded paint area. At the edge of cracks, the surface was abraded with the priming layer exposed at the surface. Remains of an old degraded varnish embedded with dirt, dwelt in cracks of the original paint.
The portion of light scattering due to micro fissures in the paint layer of oil paintings was increased.
Blooming in the form of areas of cloudiness with whitish and obscuring patches, affected the upper layer being the varnish layer.
Varnishes discolored, and dark spots were highly visible.
Mastic varnish of some paintings yellowed, showing a foggy and opaque appearance, in local areas, the repaints distinct from original paint darkened significantly.
The repaints done during previous restorations, caused distress to the paint structure. The uneven degradation was answering differing pigment compositions, binding media, and position within the paint layer structure. In some cases, layers of varnish were also present between the overpaint layers. Some paintings had their mediums modified by the addition of varnishes and waxes. In some cases, the varnish was brushed onto undried paint.
Alteration of unstable organic pigments was causing brittleness and delamination in the paint layers; others affected the durability of binding oils. Not all pigments contributed to the development of good paint films, and some, had detrimental effects.
Degraded layers affected other adjacent layers adversely.
Some of the originally darker colours had lightened, with inversions of expected lights and darks, while some darker areas lightened in tone.
The paint layer distinct from a varnish layer, became lighter and chalkier in appearance.
The migration of lead soaps - metal-based pigments such as lead, zinc, copper or potassium, got involved in the local blanching by coming to the surface, through the paint layer.
Some canvases betrayed an intensive and deliberate use of smalt in a variety of ways : either as a blue pigment alone or mixed, or as a bulking agent to provide volume and texture, or as a drier. Indeed, in some cases the smalt was not used for its blue colour but for its bulking and drying properties. In the thin areas of a wood support painting, the smalt turned colourless.
The old book deplored the decision taken by the works of art at the end of the briefing session, but his loyalty towards the others and the old man, silenced him.
He was a book of duty and he would act accordingly.
However, he was secretly calling for a miracle from the Lord of books. Since the briefing session, he had consulted the Old testament in various editions. The consulted books surprised by his sudden interest, were profuse with details about miracles. His favorite one, besides the spectacular crossing of the red sea, was the story of Job. He didnt attempt to decipher an esoteric sense beyond the realm of his reality. He related to the old man’integrity and unbending virtue. Above all, he found solace in the good man’s woes that he compared to his own in scale.
The old book had lost his bearings since the ratification of degradation and had no soul book to confide in.
He was confused deep down.
Some ends were honorable and others were not. During his career in military service at the Academy, he had neither surrendered to adversity nor in the same vein, to defeatism. He praised and valued courage. But there he was, cornered by an undignified death sentence; besides, his new assignment did not ring right to his spine and he felt that the departed scribe books were turning over in their graves.
Observe the progression of degradation and report it to the United nations of books.
The thought was burning his brave heart to the core.
He praised himself for knowing what was morally right.
The old book deplored the shameful silence of the United Nations.
He had expected a grand and noble gesture from the respectable institution.
A remote demonstration of some kind would be a source of gratification.
The old book had the fantasy dream of leading a mediation together with the attributed honors and public awareness. Entangled in his chimeric scenario, he first considered declining with an appropriate speech, but had revised it over and over, expecting the call for mediation to drop in his mailbox of incoming thoughts. He had rehearsed his feigned surprise and embarrassment, followed by his humble acceptance. The old book then imagined the long herd of books around the world, congratulating him on his merit.
Instead of the expected welcomed agitation, he suffered the indignity of silence.
Such silence was mortifying, and disquieting.
He felt betrayed by his fostered convictions.
During the briefing session, he pleaded to send this time a senior delegation of thoughts, but the others rudely disregarded him.
The United Nations of books had been properly informed in due time.
The works of art were marginalised from the rest of the world.
No one would commit to help.
Unlocking doors of perception can be hazardous to our convictions.
We delude ourselves with romantic views about others.
We believe that we are surrounded by caring thoughts.
Nothing is more upsetting than to admit that our existence means little to others.
The old book could not admit the harsh reality, and refused to yield to what he judged to be useless pessimism.
His misanthropy concerned human brains and their insistent trivial motivations, but not his peers.
His peers were of a different mould which justified their exceptional longevity.
Few men deserved his praise indeed.
He recalled Gaius Julius Caesar, and his ultimate confrontation with Brutus and other tribunes.
The hideous conspiration had finally won over the great man.
The old book wondered what were his last thoughts before he surrendered to the stabbing.
Absence of fear singled him out from most men, he was sure of that. The thought revived his battling force, rallied his willing leaves, and the remaining scribe books under his banner.
He thought about the longcase clock's unusual behavior. He sensed the unfriendly sarcasm and hostility in the last episode, and wondered what explained such a radical change of behavior .
Some characters behave differently in times of disorder, and we are inclined to believe such change is estranged from us. For our peace of mind, we remain blind to our own change.
The old book in his perception of disorder was involved in the creation of disorder.
Since the beginning of his observation, the altered works of art were dependant on his perception.
As no one informed him of the impact produced by his observation, he remained convinced that the old man’s perception played the main role, if not the only role, in the degradation.
Alienated from reality, the old book remained in a confortable observation leather sofa in the library.
He dismissed the remote possibility of being a triggering protagonist. Not that he undervalued his own significance in the arena of senior books, but he had never expressed malevolent intention towards anyone but the best of intentions.
Therefore, the contentious outcome could not be altered by his insight or his will.
Fortunately, the reader of the story was a neutral observer and would not mortgage his conscience.
Hence, he could not be held accountable for the consequent pittfall and damage.
Fortunately again for the old book’s conscience, no court was charging him of being an observer affecting the observed.
Someone else was responsible for the damage.
An upsetting thought imposed itself :
How do we measure the disorder of what we observe ?
What are the observables ?
The ivory miniatures were the local observable parts of a system where his observation coupled to the old man’s observation changed an initial state. The miniatures were for conservation purposes, usually displayed in low light levels, but since the last episode they remained unsheltered. Ivory miniatures were very reactive to environment and proceeded to an unconscious encoding of information. They went through warping and swelling, and darkened following their close contact with the old man ‘s sweaty hands. The observation of the old book impacted, on their organic porous dentine structure.
He noticed that some Illuminated manuscripts from the eleventh and the twelfth centuries showed blackening of the red area painted with cinnabar, the powdered mineral of vermillion.
The old book was warned by the drawings that dirt was ingrained between the paper fibres under the surface, mixed with residues of previous erasing powder used by the curator. They confessed to be in an extreme physical weakness.
But above all, the old book was startled by a case study recently brought to his attention by the scribe books : the darkening of the red mercury sulphide pigment vermilion was puzzling. On some paintings, vermilion remained through centuries unchanged, but on others, it became a crumbly and friable black or silver grey crust that altered their appearance. Whether vermilion has been processed wet or dry, or was derived from cinnabar did not change the outcome. The old book thought that perhaps the fate of the pigment was related to the technique of the artist, and not by the mirrors’ reflection. One painting admitted that a red lake glaze layer applied on top of vermilion, acted as a physical schield. While, in the discolored areas, vermillion was applied alone which made it vulnerable.
Was the specular and diffuse reflection of the paintings involved in it?
The mirrors had a bistable perception of vermilion, interpretating two outcomes of the pigment, with equal plausibility.
Indeed, the mirrors did capture the old man’s self images.
The parameters of mapping inherent to the mirrors, enabled them to capture the sequence of images with a high mass resolution.
Their beam scanned the images.
The dispersive energy of the beam scanning the images, could impact on reflected works of art. A beam was light and pigments were light sensitive. He wondered whether the mirrors could darken a specific area of a painting. In such case, the diameter of the beam had to be adjusted accordingly. Such theory implied an inner scalable recognition pattern, which could induce structural changes in a determined area.
Some of the light of the mirrors may have been absorbed by the paintings.
The old book shivered.
The speculation was leading him in slippery slope and the old book uncomfortable, decided to stop his investigation. For the first time, he saw some truth in the old man’s allegations, about an invisible enemy whose grim identity was still unveiled.
The longcase clock resented as well the decision taken during the last session, but for different reasons.
The others voted a trust motion in favor of his rival, the old book.
The longcase clock loathed the senile book more than ever and hoped he left a scar on him.
There are two main sorts of predators.
The declared ones and the looming ones.
Low key individuals grow unwise in times of disorder and become a poor audience to others.
What seemed unthinkable in times of stability becomes achievable in times of disorder.
For many years, his existence was paced by his repetitive beats and the scheduled servicing performed by silent human hands with white gloves, consisting in cleaning, brushing and oiling. He was left out of restoration and conservation debates, involving the other works of art and the curator(s).
The works of art took for granted his solitary existence and they did not question being under intensive, overrated care. Consequently, they did not feel compelled to share with him any sensible thoughts, other than time related.
Decades went by and the longclock’s acrimony grew and darkened the rosewood of his case.
The spectre of never ending exclusion was tormenting him.
The old man did not struggle to possess him as he was part of a legacy.
He remembered the hand of the old man on him.
It was neither cold nor warm.
The hand was assessing its value on the art market.
The old man ackowledged the precious rosewood and that settled his case for many years.
Since then, the longcase clock was left to his dullness.
The last session, he had been adventurous in confronting the respected old book during his reporting. He was thrust from obscurity into the searchlight, and he could not bear to be deprived of the given thrill of gaining popularity. He had to imagine a scheme to experience the relished feeling again.
The longcase clock’s attemps to undermine the old book, turned infructuous but he refused to be defeated.
He consulted his mechanism and clock parts, for sound advice.
Adjustments had been recently made to the escapement to improve its action.
He could reverse or advance the hand setting himself, with no need of servicing.
One hand reminded him that he was the guardian of time.
The second hand added further, that he was not constrained to follow a constant speed.
He wasted a few seconds brooding over it.
He would venture where no clock before him had gone before.
The works of art mesmerized by the mirrors’eloquency, voted for degradation.
The mirrors neglected in return to consult him.
They were unaware that degradation involved time variation.
He would give them a shot of time velocity.
The longcase clock congratulated his hands for their clarity.
Then, sent a firm thought to his mechanism to proceed with an accelerated velocity.
Misguided, the mechanism reacted to the stimulus, with a new velocity added to the initial velocity of its inception. The mechanism assumed that the acceleration would be constant for calculation purposes.
The first hand inquired about the final velocity paving the way to the end of times.
The second hand hushed her up.
Nothing is more displeasing than to be cast out of an anticipated shine.
Such prospect drives us to gamble our safety which we would avert, under normal circumstances.
But then, normality was not up to date.
The old man’s disorder had modified the works of art’ global and individual course.
The longcase clock expected to be missioned by the mirrors, to report on velocity, displacement, and time of disorder. He despised the paintings for not taking into account the velocity of migrating pigments.
They focused on the spatial location and topographic features of the migrated pigments, but not on their velocity of displacement. The multiple comprehensive reviews’ emphasis on the interaction with the binding medium was as far as he was concerned, simply too much for one clock to digest.
Time variation for clock sake, was the crucial issue.
The velocity of degradation seemed more meaningful than the degradation itself.
After all all unstable pigments did not degrade at the same velocity…
In times of disorder, fear may be a tangible indicator of denial.
The paintings entangled in its claws, were not able to offset the infectious fear.
Although they voted by an absolute majority for degradation, fear was not hampered. The paintings were trying to fill the void of silence with a cacophony of thoughts.
Fear was flaring up, contradicting the self assurance of the session.
Like a Pandora box carelessly opened, it propagated disorder of emotions together with physical and chemical disorder.
Emotions which were nicely wrapped up with decency, were now let out in the open.
A cohort of paintings demanded to have their say before its was too late.
Competiton soared between the expressed blemishes and disruptions compromising physical integrity.
The presumed inequality of degradation cleaved the paintings into blocs and solidarity fissured.
The paintings on edge, were enmeshed by their own self image, bridging with the old man’s obsession of his self.
A pair of small canvases were the victims of over zealous cleanings revealing among other blemishes, dark stains which partially concealed the repents left by the artist. The painting showed crude colors highly sensitive and an extremely thin paint layer. The early drying of oil paints resulting from autoxidation, did not necessarily give a tough, and durable film. Over fifty decades, the noble pair claimed for compensation which never came, although the curator minimized their disconfort with a protective glass.
The pair confided to the longcase clock that they were in physical danger due to the invasive cleaning. The rough cleaning was responsible for increased cracking of various depth, surface flattening, paint dragging and removal, revealing a bare ground.
Since, they had become fervent militants of the crusade for alternative treatments.
A large canvas stated that the severe degradation of the oil and mastic varnish applied in the last century, clouded the legibility of his composition.
Another, cried about his paint layer which had been damaged by a strong varnish.
Since, restorers excoriated varnishing the ground absorbent layers of the support, which was irreversible as it produced color change. The painting mentioned the application of a thin layer of varnish in a solvent, or mixed with oil, to a paint layer before applying further paint, probably to prevent sinking of following layers.
A modern painting admitted that he was not sure whether an original varnish ever existed. He resented however, an older yellowed coat that disfigured his colors.
In the flood of unleashed wailings, the longcase clock recalled that disorder could the clash of uncoordinated orders.
He heard a painting moan about his periled layers.
A mix of over fifty layers of oil and tempera, applied on top of each other, were undergoing a painful redistribution of their matter. The experimental technique of the artist challenged conservation since the genesis of the painting. The painting was expecting the result of structural imaging monitoring diagnosis.
The non contact and non invasive technique of depth-resolved structural imaging would differentiate his superimposed layers. The curator would then entrust the restorer to remove the ingrained surface dust, varnishes, unknown coatings, old retouchings, and old fillings. In spite of the fact that the dust had become embedded with the paint, and would be difficult to remove. Last, the painting wished the various curators had shown more attention a few centuries ago, to the influence of pigments on the mechanical properties of oil paint.
Another painting provided a clue about long term stability of the paint layer, stating that the ground layer played a major role.
A thought of acquiescence rallied the group of paintings.
A modern painting revealed that six different mixtures had been identified from the paint layers. They included stand oil, linseed oil, raw linseed oil, casein and animal glue, egg and casein, egg and animal glue and animal glue alone, creating mixed oxidation reactions. When applied, the binders got absorbed into the porous, and unprimed canvases, resulting in a weaker adhesive strength to the canvas. The unstable paint layers could not endure more stress because of their soft and porous structures with low mechanical strength.
The longcase clock could feel the rising tension among the paintings as they rambled on, about the flexibility of the paint layer.
He measured the global dissipative energy of the informative sequence of thought.
The expressed considerations were now unworthy of attention, and counterproductive.
He felt overwelmed by a swelling amount of data he did not ask for.
The longcase clock was swimming in a soluble information which was affecting the varnish of his own case.
He wondered how long would last the intrusive diatribe, which had the ability to immerse his wood case.
He checked the swelling response of the wood, but heard and felt nothing of the kind.
The display of emotion was merely a transitional and isolated stage of disorder that would not interfere with the degradation process.
He had to set up a contingency plan, should a clash of bigger scale occur among the paintings
The longcase clock was now looking forward to degradation and could not afford to exhibit curiosity.
His self regulation demanded focus and tension reduction from his parts.
Stimulated by his future accomplishment, he resented the pitiful interference of the paintings.
Cautious, he inhibited the negative valence of his feeling. He remained impervious to the vagaries of the painting’layers who had knocked on the wrong clock for sympathy.
He was gloating over the paintings’ providential fall from grace.
Too bad for the scheduled exhibition loans…
Therefore, he pretented not to hear the intimate statement.
His conniving hands caught the message and freezed.
The mechanism silenced for a long minute, attentive to his malicious desire.
The painting interrupted his moaning and stared at the uncaring face dial of the rigid clock.
Perplexed, he alerted the other paintings.
He was aware of the lack of response of the longcase clock and realized with some discomfiture, that his peers had been sharing private thoughts with an outsider of the guild.
The painting could not ponder on the disturbing thought as he heard the old man coming up to him. It was his turn to freeze.
The old man was staring at the painting bewildered.
Being a privileged traveler among the particles of a system does not take place as a rule, and never happened to the old man before.
Before his illness, the old man never expressed such a daring wish.
He had no reason to contemplate the infinitesimal when he belonged to the infinetely great.
His rare interferences with others were meant to serve a determined egocentric purpose and his only trusted friend was no one, but himself.
But there he was, propelled into a new dimension below the Planck scale, searching for a mysterious particle.
The mother particle of the three known particles of physics. The foundation particle of all matter in the universe, including the old man.
The old man was able to follow particles in their variable states.
He trailed them in their settlement, conversion, and displacement within the layers of the painting
His plain observation affected their position and his observation irradiated the particles.
The particles emitted energy.
Energy signals became erratic as a manifestation of overreacting with notable variation of intensity.
His stare went deep into the multiple layers to rest on the ground layers.
The glittering particles felt the stare of the old man and stopped momentarily their motion between two layers, causing a transport disorder of lead particles.
The particles were stunned.
The invasive visitor had not been announced by any scientific tool. The current authorized visitors were the analytical tools in laboratories monitored by legitimate scientists and curators. But certainly not the old man’s conscience, lacking clarity.
The old man could not have the cheek to review the works of eminent scholars…
The protocol was disrupted by a non scholar.
Layers were regulated by the hierarchical authority of the artist.
For centuries, their superimposed number, took into account the components’ handling properties, drying qualities and inherent limitations of usage. Some pigments accepted only to be mixed with one or two other pigments and expressed their reluctance to be mixed with others, judged unsuitable. While the additives’ role was to correct deficiencies and enhance inherent qualities, together with a versatile oil binder.
The old man discovered that within the layers, particles were divided between the settled ones and the travelers. The travelers quit their relatives without a second thought for others.They left behind their initially assigned ground layers, heading for the upper layers. The determined particles showed a resentful chemical reaction which made their leave both irresistible and irreversible.
Some particles who were more inquisitive than others, questioned the relevance of the old man’s visit in their reality.
The cogent answer was that their number and size were listed again.
Grumbling at the disturbance, the travelers resumed their migration while the settled ones showed excitement at the change of routine. The spectral analysis should be different than the ordinary ones.
A small group of agitated particles debated about non qualified individuals who could violate their territory at leisure, to conduct the enlargement of fundamental data that could not be done at random. Besides, the old man did not seem to know much on the technical subject and his observation should be submitted to peer review.
Hence, the particles fully engrossed in their own matter, decided to boycott the impudent investigation.
Unauthorized individuals were not admitted beyond the top varnish’s premises. There was no room and no time available for useless visitors.
What was the security Door Keeper doing ?
The bullied varnish of the last top layer heard the message and responded that several factors impaired his viligance.
Previous cleanings had reduced the thickness of the varnish layer, who once took pride in being the Door Keeper.
Several unfortunate diets had induced suface damage abrasion, with paint loss. Since, the varnish had lost its supremacy as a schield, and the paint film was left vulnerable with increased porosity. Last but not least, the left overs of the paint film had a tangible issue to cope with.
Indeed, the lead white large particles achieved their transformation into lead soaps, which were affecting the translucent glazes, unbalancing the original saturation of color. Besides, the darkening trend owed much to the decreased ability of lead white to scatter light, thus producing visible darkening.
While the ground particles were impatiently downloading the Door Keeper’s explanations, old grudges previously drowned in the oil binder such as the prevalence of a pigment over another one, surged back stronger than ever, on the surface. Accusatory particles pointed out the lack of stability of others affecting the whole community of pigment particles. The indictment prompted other particles in order to preserve them from possible retaliation, to voice through other candid particles, that such interference was the result of migrations that were not initially planned.
Therefore, no claim was receivable.
The travelers were particles trespassing their assigned layer, not the awkward old man.
The controversy ignited a fast swelling riot among particles in the ground layers.
The distraught varnish of the intermediate layers, called for assistance, the varnish of the top layer who replied that he was tied up with tension weakening his cohesion. The intermediate varnish pleaded with poignancy, for a peaceful intervention but the top varnish remained deaf, considering that advanced degradation had been activated by the radiation. The best he could do was to avoid fueling further disorder. Meanwhile the particles of all layers as a meagre mechanism of defence, were adjusting their molecular arrangement in order to reduce the risk of collision with the unsteady old man.
As to the old man, he was cognitively unaware of the causes of disorder.
The colorful journey was smooth and pleasant like an embrace.
He felt safe, drifting away in the binding oil of the layers among amicable particles.
He had reconstructed the original womb of his genesis.
He was a particle among other particles.
The fleeting image was so soothing that he wished he could hold it.
He tried to engage in conversation with the particles, hoping to get a reaction from a Meta particle. Strangely, they appeared to shun verbal contact. The old man mistook their reluctance for due respect, and it pleased him. The old man was not aware that increasing irradiation time exposure would inevitably make many changes occur.
He carried on, without measuring the level of absorbance, he was inflicting on others.
He tuned a high resolution imaging, to analyze the increased transparency (than originally intended), in preparatory layers with the presence of lead white particles, of the pigment used in the under drawing. The small lead white particles dissolved, and left large coarse particles dispersed in a transparent matrix and paint layer. The lead soaps were the result of the dissolution of lead white, dwelling in an underlying layer(s).
His brief elemental analysis focused on the layered system that contained two different types of mobile lead white, showing a different granulometry. He noticed the size distribution of the grains of lead white in one layer being loose, and another layer with the grains being rather densily packed. In some cases, just a grey halo remained of the original white particle.
He roughly analysed the number, the size and position between the aggregates and the dispersed particles. The particles visible on the surface were either rounded or elongated with associated abrasion. In other areas, he distinguished lead-tin yellow and red lead particles forming lead soaps and spreading loosely.
He then noticed the selectiveness of the loss of opacity together with, the progressive transformation of large particles of lead white, into amorphous and random forms of lead soaps migrating to the surface. The pigment particles reacted away leading to saponified regions, which started swelling, growing in volume in the ground and intermediate layers, to break up, and finally protrude at the surface with local peaks. The old man could recompose discontinuous transparent areas shift to opaque passages.
He wondered whether the process started at the early stage or not, of the drying of the paint film.
The painting assumed that the old man could hear the answer.
Chemical change had impacted on the ability of lead white to scatter light and the increased transparency causing the darkening in some areas. Observation provided an elemental map of intensities of color which captivated the old man.
In one distressed area, the old man detected the presence of smalt pigment whose particles seemed to squabble over something. The old man could not hear the dispute but perceived stirring agitation.
The old man’s mouth was dry now and his heart was hurting; His disowned body reminded him that he was made of flesh. He feared a seizure coming, but went on focusing on the intensity of the blue colour that was dependent on the cobalt content and particle size. Once more, the old man adjusted the imaging, in order to distinguish smalt that had discoloured from smalt originally pale in colour. He then reached a thick undermodelling layer containing smalt pigment and others.
The map showed no difference between the smalt used in the upper paint layers and the smalt used in the undermodelling paint. It comforted the old man on the fact that the same quality of smalt was used based on its potassium variable content, although he was not familiar with unstable pigments. The pigment’s edgy particles reacted leaching potassium and the binding oil appeared discolored to the old man who was amazed by the effects of the interaction producing changes to the pigment and the binding medium.
The old book was listening to the old man and heard the previous answer. He realized that what the old man saw was accurate, although abridged in vernacular language. The old book was surprised by the old man’ sudden interest in deciphering elemental analysis. He leaned forward, hoping to learn from the vicarious experience. He heard the old man but not the particles of matter within the painting. The old book questioned the painting’ conscience who refused to probe his particles for information.
The old man was searching now for fundamental information below the Planck scale, and the paintings were his probing tools with their multiple layers, unfolding underlying dimensions of reality.
The old man was trying to reduce the space time sheet in order to alter his own outcome.
The old book angrily turned towards the writer of the story, waiting for the delete of words. By doing so, he hurt the head of his spine and moaned.
He clung to the belief that the old man elaborated a persisting hallucination, which he kept on perfecting with conflated realities, as he conflated various types of degradation in his delusory observation.
The old man cared for them all and would not sacrifice his collection for the sake of an experiment based on no empirical evidence.
How could she write such nonsense?
The writer of the present story smiled at his ingenuousness, but did not change a single word, despite her growing fondness for the old book.
However, she agreed that the various types of degradation were badly disrupting the painting’s physical and moral integrity. Such galloping disorder was bound to lead to chaos.
The old book frowned his own shrilling thoughts for a moment.
The old man remembered what he read somewhere.
He then questioned the scribe books who certified that none of them, had within leaf, any encoded information related to the formation of lead soaps. For the old book, recollection meant knowledge in such case, although the knowledge did not come from the old man’s reputed library.
The information did not perspire from the layers of the painting, but from the multiple memory systems of the old man. Specific brain cells were activated releashing memory dissociation, since the old man did not remember his previous hallucination. Each journey was a new encounter, with information relased to the old man by his memory system. The inaccessible became accessible to the old man, despite his failure to remember previous events.
The old book then thought about postencoding settlement. The settlement process was completed and the old man could easily retrieve the information. Such explanation did not quite fit in, as it failed to explain the previous hallucinations.
The postencoding process required weeks, and even months to complete, if not longer. The old book was racking his leaves to find the missing thread. He was fidgeting with the concept of specific neural cells being activated, at a precise timeline. Quantum properties permited mental intent to influence physical action, and the old book wondered whether mental intent could influence mental action.
Who activated the specific cells?
Surely the old man in the grip of an evil glioblastoma, could not control his cells …
Perhaps the mirrors with their reflecting power had something to do with it. By capturing the self-images of the old man, they had altered his brain connectivity with a loss of boundary between himself and the works of art.
What about the mysterious enemy of the old man activating the memory?
But then, the old man was actually enjoying the hallucination, swimming in the binding linseed oil with rapture.
The old book changed the word activated into reactivated and it made more sense.
Reactivation would imply that the memory had been activated before, hence explaining the hallucinations.
But then, again, who could reactivate the old man’s memory system?
Who had access to information but himself?
The old book questioned again the scribe books in the library. One of them reported several activations and thermal stimuli inducing emotional change, but could not trace the correlation between activations.
The scribe books reported no visual impairements.
The old book worried now about the old man’s sanity and his own.
He wished he could understand defense mechanisms in disorders.
Suddenly nauseous, he lost his forbearance and rebelled against the writer.
He blamed her for increasing the release of his matter’s organic components.
The blend scent made of hundreds of volatile released compounds, disturbed some paintings who prayed for the exile of the old book, in a nursing home, far away from their sensitive layers.
The old book relinquished the ghastly thought, to resume with his previous thought
The old man was under the influence of an emotional stimulus, possibly involving several brain regions and maybe an outsider enemy. He constructed a defense mechanism that disconnected him from full awareness of his self-image and incontrollable external circumstances. He had crossed the doorstep of illusion again, avoiding the distress of his illness.
Why was he so preoccupied by the self-images detained by the mirrors?
The old book was baffled.
The old man took no one in his pleasurable journey.
He wished he could have helped him find his way in the monad system.
Each time, the old man went further deep.
Lost in his own darkness, the old man cried for reversibility.
For time contortion…
He hoped he could find a particle in the infinitesimal, at the very source of matter that would reverse the odds.
Each time, the span of his consciousness was lessened with the progressive degradation of accessible memory. His distortions of reality had dramatically increased as well as his expectations.
He wondered how the old man would escape safely from the hallucination, and come back to normalcy. The old book was powerless. He knew the old man did not wish to come back.
The painting struggled to maintain a delusory poised front. Since the last episode, the world of particles had gone mad, layer after layer. The particles had been inflamed, disrupting the layers.
The old man’s observation was both sudden and unexpected. Although all accepted the final outcome, the observation had aroused growing fear among them.
Some entrapped particles surrendered stoical, and ceased connecting with each other. Soon, a solemn silence fell on some layers while remaining particles kept fighting with one another.
One particle though, remained estranged from agitation.
One of many disturbed by the old man’s intrusive observation.
The traveling particle got trapped into a disrupted yellowed varnish. The varnish showed a complex mixture of materials suggesting that originally more than one layer of varnish had been applied during a previous restoration over a cleaning which had left substantial amounts of the older varnish coating. The new applied varnish had aged quickly and poorly compromising the saturation of the darker tones. The displacement of the distressed varnish had entrapped loads of bone black particles of pigment.
Like most sister particles, the particle was expecting a fatal and inevitable death.
However unexpectedly, the single particle made a formidable decision and proved to her kind, that she was no ordinary particle to reckon with.
The particle was not braver than any other particle, but she was eager.
Eager to experience motions, interactions, and new systems.
Eager to breathe.
Her station in the painting had not quenched her thirst of knowledge.
She felt her confinement lasted over hundred years, although she was not sure.
She could not even measure her growing frustration.
When she came in contact with a solvent particle measuring her solubility, she knew she had been banished from light for too long.
Her expectancy of life was such, that she could not face the prospect of a dead end. Not yet, not now.
The solvent particle had told her about her host system and she was fascinated.
Her swelling reaction pleased the solvent particle who reacted, when she related how she had been forced to migrate by lead particles.
The solvent particle had been gentle, but warned that other harsh cleaning particles would come to finish the work. The cleaning particle had simply opened a window of investigation for the restorer to get his bearings. The particle enquired about the length of time she would remain untouched, but she got an evasive response from the embarrassed cleaning particle.
When she was gone, the particle was baffled by the scarcity of survival probabilities.
There were basically no options allowing her to modify her lifetime.
Either she would decay of exposure with a lead particle or be cleaned away by solvent.
She knew that alternative cleaning treatments would affect her stability in some way.
Absorbed by a sterile introspection, she kept turning over the same dilemma:
Was death a disorder?
Assuming it was, what was the point in dying? Since her dwelling in the layer, she had experienced a succession of variable disorders…
Ever since in her state of darkness, she witnessed severe degradation of bone black discolored particles in her surrounding. Her superimposed companions loss of energy, and their information lost with them in the black hole of nothingness, lost in unfair oblivion.
Her energy level had dropped.
If she stood in a superposition of quantum states, there was no reason for being left out of aggregated particles. She recalled how she envied their entangled states.
Surely in another state she was dissolved and gone anonymously, as the rest of her precarious existence. In the present one, she was a lone and forgotten prisoner in the painting.
She attempted to move and felt her matter bounce back and forth on the molecular walls.
Her repeated attempts were leading nowhere so far, as under the Planck scale, systems acted like shutting gates.
The particle could not go through unless she modified her trajectory.
She had to find another way.
The particle could not move into the confined space forward or backwards, but could rotate.
Above all, her thought could crack the light speed barrier and stretch out her presumed time.
Time was running out.
The particle measured her energy level again, and focused on the dreaded death sentence.
Then she thought with greater clarity and wondered why it did not hit her before.
Since they were all doomed, matter was cumbersome and needed to be converted into sheer energy.
She had to die whilst becoming energy.
Her predicted time could be modified should her matter mirror light speed travel.
An elliptical trajectory would accelerate her motion and affect space-time.
The particle started rotating, spinning on her axis, faster and faster.
She felt neither fear, nor anxiety, simply the urge to go faster. Accelerated motion produced incremented time.
The particle distorted time albeit she had no sense of time.
Focused on speed, she dismissed the painting vibrating an angry thought at her.
She felt and knew nothing but speed, and matter lost its significance.
The particle felt lighter in kinetic motion.
She went on, aroused by her own energy, till she embraced death, the Gatekeeper.
Liberated from all matter boundaries, she felt unique.
She knew she would be safe in the never-ending landscape of eternity.
When she died, her energy was set free, at last.
She was reborn.
Before she started her discovery journey, she had one last thought for the particles left behind, decaying in the painting. She wished they would get loose from matter.
She titled her kind thought to whom it may concern, uncertain that someone would pick it up and she dashed off to her new destiny.
Her thought was fortunately rescued by another isolated lead rich particle, caught up in a crust on the surface of the painting. The reacting particle read it without grasping its full meaning and passed it on to others.
Death is a retrieved order.
Dematerialize and you shall reborn.
The longcase clock was not aware that the particle had introduced a flaw in his scheme.
The particle holding her conviction had opened a path in the vacuum of the unknown.
She was to be followed by other excited particles involved in a merry dance of particles.
The venerable canvas and wood supports faced an unprecedented epidemic desertion of matter.
The thought of freedom spread, like fire among paintings.
Death was not an end but the threshold of eternity, allowing rebirth as a conversion premium.
The paintings were now facing decomposed particles on one side, and particles undergoing a conversion of their state.
A third goup composed of dirt particles managed to hide further deep within the cracks, then mingled with the varnish and particles of repaints.
They fervently wished they would not be detected.
Fortunately, the particles of the paintings including both the settled ones and the mobile travellers did not pay much attention to them. The dirt particles belonged to the vast category of non-original materials with variable compatible physical properties.
Neither did the supports keen to retain their original and legitimate tenants in a stationary state.
Both coarse and fine particles were required to stay cohesive with their surrounding.
The canvases and wood support appealed to their loyalty, pleaded for reconciliation and unity, but to no avail.
Together as planned, they would face a commune outcome that was based on a mutual engagement.
The supports deplored the appalling behavior of particles breaking forcibly their initial assignement.
Open cracks, voids and flakes intensified on the surface of paintings, and provided a resourceful haven to dirt particles.
The voids were happy to scatter light, enhancing the supports growing dismay.
As to the cracks, other than drying cracks, they were bound to proliferate.
Their formation answered the air bubbles caused by lead acetate crystals forming in the paint media, forcing them to react.
While the poor connection between the varnish and paint film intensified, hence increasing the scattering of light, which increased the fading of chalk based lakes.
Flakes of paint dragging bits of ground layers, fell on the shiny white marble floor that became sporadically colorful.
The supports proclaimed a state of urgency.
The scribe books heard about some crusade led by jammed packings of particles.
The mirrors reflected both the flaking of convictions and the flaking of paint.
Death of matter opened a brand new perspective to the remaining particles.
It reset with ambition, their vision of the future.
They recused their obsolete confinement and structural order.
A new era that would set them free of the constrained domination of layers was proclaimed.
The reign of multiple and superimposed layers, was over.
Frontiers were abolished and particles declared themselves equal in jammed disorder, repudiating their initial configuration.
Those who had been spared by unwelcomed chemical reactions, considered their migrating flight as an exploration of eternity.
Meanwhile, the faction-ridden particles were restless in their precipited recruiting.
They called on the conservative particles, to leave matter behind and join their inflating crusade.
Elation replaced fear but intensified disorder.
The merciless crusaders pillaged the flat sequences of layers.
Boundaries were eroded breaking the schield of intermediate varnishes.
A schismatic disorder took place among the paint lakes too degraded showing a critical level of color maintenance.
They declared themselves vulnerable to further drastic change due to the fading of their top layers.
The paintings were split between decay of their organic matter and the energy driven particles of the painting. The particles in the midst of activated decay of matter, experienced panic when they heard about the energy driven particles. These particles were judged adventurous by most, but their crusade was considered noble and laudatory.
The daring and fearless particle was erected as a symbol of heroism.
As to the longcase clock, he was in mourning of a courted glory that kept avoided him.
He stood rigid and composed as ever, but deep down he was flaking.
He had been crushed by a particle.
Was he the target?
Strangely, he felt no collision and had no echoic memory.
The battle had not begun and yet, the vibration of a particle defeated him.
The longcase clock had no time to measure the probability of an interaction, when it hit him.
The paradox was ludicrous.
As Goliath the fierce giant, he did not expect an unstable particle with no preselected direction, to hit him.
The gold hands of his outraged face were spinning, out of control and his mechanism had gained velocity.
The perturbed mechanism neglected to give time accurately, and soon was distanced by time.
The longcase clock got lost in time.
An invisible, unknown particle had stolen his fame.
His thoughts were bouncing panic-stricken.
Who was that particle anyway?
A free particle with negligible energy was able to stretch her time?
For clock sake…
How could she challenge irreversibility?
We often assume that great individuals should accomplish equally great deeds.
The longcase clock had flawed assumption about his potential adversaries. From his tall standpoint, they were scarce to match him. An insignificant particle coming from a layer of a painting could not measure up to him for she was not in the same league.
Eternity belonged to him.
Those among us who dream of glory often expect potent adversaries to counter them.
They nurture a high opinion of themselves, unaware that their conceit makes them as vulnerable as Achilles’heel.
The particle was dead but yet alive in memories, and the topic of all thoughts.
No one paid a single thought to the grief of the longcase clock.
For many, he stood there stern as usual and as gloomy as a dark wood coffin.
Meanwhile the books of Hours of lithurgical-illuminated manuscripts made of several hands, heard the piece of thoughts on the particle.
One subatomic particle had defied death and conquered eternity.
They interrupted their prayers to debate between themselves in a conclave.
Their heated speculation focused on a possible divine origin of the particle and her apostolic status.
Was she sent to enlight the other particles lost in the layers of dusty varnished ignorance?
Had the divine elected a humble particle to be a messenger of wisdom?
Centuries had elapsed and they had seen no sign of the divine.
Their routine made of endless dispute about their foliated intials suddenly seemed vain and were left aside.
Should the divine origin be proven, the books of Hours would vote by consensus, the beatification of the particle.
But first, they had to hear the witnesses observations.
Feverish, they advised the old book regarding the relevance of recording such an historical event and the need to conduct a preliminary investigation.
But the old book strangely remained silent and aloof.
They reformulated their thought stressing its utmost importance but the old book remained placid.
They mistook his silence for an assent, and informed the painting they wished to interrogate the jammed particles.
The particles in unison were eager to share what they now considered to be their experience.
Even the settled particles, who had not witnessed anything, had their say.
Unfortunately, they could not describe how the particle initialized her conversion.
Nor were they able to precise whether she was in a state of transition or not, or subject to a direct interaction.
Least of all, they could not retrieve her initial position.
The eminent members of the conclave were confronted with plethoric information of doubtful relevance. Some pretented that she was an angel particle doted with strange powers. Others claimed she had accomplished healing miracles during the cleaning invasive treatments.
In fact, no one knew precisely where she came from.
Whether she was originated from a varnish, or a pigment, remained a sealed mystery.
No pigment or lake claimed her.
No one was able to point out the particle’s size, composition and nature.
No one exchanged thoughts with her, and they were no elemental trace of her proving she was organic.
Soon, it became obvious that no one interacted with her.
A final question came that would float in the air answered, as it seemed incongruous:
Has anyone attempted a similar experiment?
A group of particles was tempted to reply with insolence and created additional interaction.
In such case they would not be here to testify!
The conclave deeply offended, suspended the investigation.
They expressed thoughts of resentment to the particles responsible for making much ado about nothing.
The culprits were urged to show repentence, which they ignored.
Secretely, deep down their vellum substrate, the book of Hours resented the ungrateful particle.
The particle lacked the elementary courtesy to let other particles observe her track.
Somehow, the whole inflated affair had smeared their honorability.
They classified the case as UUPT, standing for unmeasured unstable particle trajectory and that was it.
Meanwhile the mirrors were reflecting the overexcited paintings.
They were encoding the growing entropy and the twists and turns of the marching crusade.
Some book reported to the old book, the longcase clock’s sudden collapse.
The longcase clock had noisily fallen on his face amidst total indifference.
His vertical drop had caused him severe bruises and damages.
The old book did not flip a leaf.
The scribe book added with anxiety rising with his next thought:
Who was going to measure time now?
Does time still exist, now that the longcase clock is in no state to measure it?
The scribe went on arguing that human beings lived in a temporal reality and were time dependant.
Time was mandatory to measure the flow of life, with a beginning and an end.
Its end, meant the death of the old man and if he wasn’t dead yet, the end of time would entail his downfall.
The End of time would ring the rise of chaos, engulfing the scribe books in it.
Another scribe book replied that the collapse of the longcase clock did not imply the erasure of time, but simply the impetus to replace him by another time measurer.
The search for the ideal profile started.
Thoughts describing at length, the vacancy of the position were sent to all the works of art.
A monotonic and stable carrier of time with experience, was requested to declare its presence and be discharged of all obligations in order to start at once…
The old book did not take any part in it.
His concern was Elsewhere...
The particle had proven that fundamental particles could travel faster than light, where photons cannot detect their presence.
In return, the particle could not witness what happened in the layer she abandonned.
She never suspected that modifying her status, would make her an icon.
A scribe book asked whether or not the particle would have swollen with pride from being declared an icon.
Another scribe full of himself, shrugged his spine with contempt.
How could she ?
She had entered the undeciphered Elsewhere where there is no return.
Her new world was irreversible as well as her status.
The disciple irritated by the interruption, resumed listening to his mentor who happened to be the old book, unaware of the recently acquired audience.
Indeed, the old book did not consider his own outcome, anymore.
He did not wish to alter it in any way.
Since the last episode, he was pondereing on the old man’s previous hallucination.
Relentless, he juggled with both words: infinitesimal and irreversibility…
Apparently, irreversibility occurred in the infinitesimal, in the realm of the Lord of books.
The particle could not retrieve her former status of matter.
But irreversibility had enhanced entropy.
It then occurred to him, that the old man’s hallucination hold some truth between clarity and illusion.
The mirrors were reflecting away, in spite of the old man’s pressing urge to inspect his own image
Then it started with no preliminary warning or forerunner signs.
The severe darkness of the glass had not alerted anyone, least of all the old man preoccupied as usual, by his own outcome.
The delayed collapse was activated all of a sudden from the inner structure of the mirror who failed the old man. One mirror boldly started the crashing and was soon followed by the others, jointly commited in the self destruction process.
Large bits of darkened mirror glass were crashing down on the paving of the neutral floor.
Their sharp ends were abrading the helpless floor with angry and irregular convoluted scratches.
The old man tried to cover his sore ears but it did not lessen the discordant sound, echoing both in his brain and in the solemn hall. The first pieces of shattered glass were leaving deep anchor scars in his tormented brain, tracing the uncertain way for the coming indelible scars. His synaptic connections disrupted by the noisy intrusion, diminished processing coherent information. Then, smaller bits of glass rained in his brain becoming the defenseless target of the released anger that had been suppressed for so long. Strangely, the crashing did not end and seemed to increase in intensity with utmost rage prevailing over anger. The mirrors went on propelling finer bits of glass on the damaged floor, hence piling up into a bulky shining black contemporary architecture, reflecting its mangled surrounding.
The glass traced a nasty web of entangled injuries in his brain.
His brain was wrecked and he attempted to yell but no one heard him.
The words did not come out, and remained stuck in his throat, choking him. Cornered by his aphasia, the old man fell on his knees his hands shaking, desperately trying to attract an illusory salvation.
The vindictive flood of glass was chastizing his face and body allowing no respite.
The erected walls of the architecture surrounded him to the waist and narrowed his space.
He was going to be crushed.
The old man was trapped in the dark reflection of the mirrors, unable to escape.
When the flood stopped, the shattered glass was directed right at his throat, ready to cut his flabby flesh.
Silence fell on him like a heavy burden of sorrow.
His panting breath was the only echoing sound in his brain and the old man realized he was still alive.
He cried of relief, and his tears headed down the architecture of glass, gliding softly down to the disfigured floor.
Curiously his tears contained no salt and their water was stale.
The accumulated tears of his body were pouring down his cheeks and body, running away. He felt the weight of each grain when his burning eyes shed unwanted dirt. The tears smeared his cheeks with large dark streaks and he felt the diluted grains erasing his wrinkles, till he was left with no face at all but a fuzzy void.
The old man almost fell when the floor started moving. The next sensation was his drowning in a stormy sea of shattered mirrors allowing no reflection at all.
He looked down and noticed that the shattered glass had turned into very tiny bits smaller than sand.
His tasteless tears were now replaced by blood staining his weary skin. The stale water became a flow of dark red blood coloring his body and hands, washing the dirt. He believed someone other than himself was bleeding.
The old man was not aware that he had broken the mirror and injured himself.
The old book had been watching with growing anxiety, the old man experience another cognitive distortion. Behind the distorted perception was his fervent denial of the mirrors displeasing reflection of himself.
Entrapped between clarity and illusion, the old man shut himself in elaborate hallucinations, resulting from growing ambiguity and further isolation. His internal representation of reality was severely altered and he kept on experiencing different entangled states.
His journey delayed landing back in reality and activated his mental downfall.
From the start, the mirrors were emotionless and silent observers.
Their reputed lack of emotion made them reliable in their assumptions. The reflective and superimposed images of the mirrors was a computerized process that did not result from subjective feelings. The observed subject of their reflection was built with superimposed evidence.
The old book wondered what could be so displeasing about a degrading conspicuous physical appearance, encoded by conventional mirrors.
He was far to imagine their scope of investigation.
Basic reflection was long overdue.
The various mental states of the old man, were objectively encoded, classified and subject to empirical interpretation, in order to correlate them with his neural system degradation.
However, the mirrors overwhelmed with the self images of the old man, censored them as they provided limited etiologic associations.
Hence, their inability to give back the old man’s physical self images.
The data repository, was meant to reflect accurately his distortions.
The reflection turned to be a new territory of investigation with endless perspectives due to the wealth of information.
The old man turned to be a meaningful case study, for the mirrors speculating on his mental ability to distort reality. His hallucinations were considered a vast and unexplored field of knowledge, featuring ressourceful information coupled with additional optional information of a generic system.
Each hallucination was considered providential and was carefully studied by the mirrors.
It filled the voids and confirmed the inconsistencies detected during the previous hallucination while recurrences defined the global framework of investigation.
The old man who had been deprived of his appearance for too long, had lost his physical identity and experienced an acute sense of loss.
Added to the primary loss of checking his flesh and bones, was his loss of future.
The old man was left with a past and a cumbersome present.
Consequently, he was compelled to alter his present condition in every way, being as much creative as possible. His losses were the causation of his recurrent hallucinations and expressed his failure to discriminate self generated information from external sources, that were mingled by his degrading mental state.
The investigation was conducted in order to determine the utmost level of distortion, the variable degree of coherence, and the resulting flaking of convictions.
The old man sensed well that the mirrors did not provided him solace.
But he needed them to alleviate his sense of deprivation.
Unfortunately, the alleviation was ephemeral although he had no sense of time.
He felt depleted when it ended.
His reality remained unbearable without them, and the old man consulted the mirrors in need of more. Consequently, he became entrapped by the mirrors reflective investigation.
In spite of the fact that the old man was in no state to control his hallucinations, he showed a strong propensity to blur some details. The scenario kept being altered, with unstable and chaotic information. His virtual explorations became adventurous, each version presenting an enriched content of sound, speed and color shifts. From time to time, his invisible but ubiquitous enemy would sneak in his hallucination to torment him, leaving the old man with a bitter sense of defeat when he came back alive.
He was neither an explorer nor a gladiator but a fugitive of reality.
Lately, the old man operated in repetitive carceral surroundings and seemed to victimize himself. He was the torturer of a defenseless old man being no one but himself. The investigation was leading to alternative conclusions reflecting the changing states of the old man, being both the torturer and the victim, when the collapse of the longcase clock occured.
His hallucinations, became his warring tools, although they were often directed against himself.
The mirrors probed whether within the grip of an hallucination, the old man could perceive his entanglement and which character would prevail at the very end. How the neural cognitive activity related to quantum states. The final stage of the investigation would probe the quantum transitions between observables.
His death was not debated by the mirrors who had coldly accepted the verdict from the start. However, the investigation was framed to end when one character would assert its supremacy on the other.
As to temporal perception, the old man was not concerned by it and did not notice the collapse of the longcase clock. Time was irrelevant and would not alter significantly the track of his hallucinations ; besides, the old man’s demeanour was as unpredictable as his entangled hallucinations and could not be measured by a timeframe.
Inevitably the hallucinations ran in a loop, producing further disorder till his brain got saturated with conflicting information.
There was no way out and no coming back to reality.
By willing to escape reality, the old man had entrapped himself and was his own captured prey.
Unfortunately, the absence of time induced by the collapse of the longcase clock had been interpreted as a triggered signal by the mirrors which could not be ignored or bypassed.
The absence of time made it impossible to measure further alteration of any kind.
The old man’s future hallucinations were beyond measure, and he was their sole repository now.
He could modify their map at leisure, they were not encoded and therefore not manageable, least of all available for consultation.
The mirrors deactivated reflection, leaving the old man on his own.
The loss of time activated the destruction process and made death for the works of art impending.
The old book knew that it was his turn to cross the doors of quantum perception, but he was not sure he had the capacity of changing states. He was unconfortable with quantum-like behavior as he did not know with certainty whether the states were reversible or not.
After all, it certainly did not help the old man who got trapped in between states.
Besides, the transmission of irrationality had not been efficient in spite of his constant loyalty to the old man. He was just an old book, not his alter ego.
The old book did not rely on anyone’s else perception to match his own thinking pattern.
Torn between his genuine desire to follow the old man in his predicament, and the success story of the particle, he thought a break of surveillance, would do no harm and could alleviate his worry for a moment.
He sent a polite and amiable thought to a painting depicting an old man standing in a dusky study, crowded with books encompassing the central character
The dark room had no apparent doors.
It was lit by a stand alone weeping candle, that conveyed an aura of secrecy to the painting and its central character. A mysterious convoluted straircase, was erected in the center of the study, implying it was the sole way out.
On the stairs, dusty books of various thickness, were piled up at random. It was obvious, that they had not been opened for a while. The whole scene focused on the old man, although the emphasis was directed by the painter on the surrounding, which was not clearly defined but merely suggested. The spatial domination of the study over the old man, was depicted with a wide range of dark tones of browns and blacks, and was ambiguous enough to challenge the perception of the old book. Either the study sheltered the old man from the rest of the world, or the study was overpowering the old man. The scene could be interpreted both ways, with equal plausibility.
The room expressed chaos, though the walls were bare.
There was no furniture except a large desk of elegant shape but deliberately depicted in a poor condition. The old book inspected the induced degradation, and wondered why the painter had rendered the perfect illusion of inappropriate treatment and maintenance, since the desk stood in a room, with no visible light other than the candle. Indeed, the surface coating was partly scratched and partly rubbed away. The old book noticed that the chromophoric coating had obscured the substrate which appeared darkened.
Equally disturbing, was the fact that nothing lay on the desk, other than the weeping candle.
Nothing to legitimate the presence of a large desk.
The old book discerned on the bare walls the shades of former hanged paintings. The paintings were gone, suggesting that the old man had lost his possessings except the piled up books and his desk.
The painter drew the rise and fall of the old man.
The central character was standing by the desk, and handling a book with caution.
The old book noticed the solitude and physical frailty of the old man, bending over, oblivious of his oppressive surrounding.
The book was old and seemed to retain the old man’s attention.
The old man looked haggard and weary.
The bond between the old man and the handled book was so apparent, that the old book questioned who was the main character of the painting.
What would happen if one was isolated from the other ?
His own attention was now directed to the old book of the painting, and he noticed with some surprise, that it was shut. The old man had not yet opened it and it was resting on his left hand while his right hand was still considering opening it. The old man seemed to hesitate for a long time.
The book looked like it had never been opened, which was rare for an old book.
The book was issued unopened with uncut leaves. The old book wondered whether it was a rare copy or a first edition and felt some discomfort, although he could not precisely assess why.
The old book of the painting had a plain apperance and showed no obvious trait other than being unopened.
However, the painter had centered the scene on the old man handling a shut old book in his weak, uncertain hand. Both the old man and the old book in his hand, looked like an odd couple chained to one another. No words had been exchanged between them and yet, the connection was almost tangible. The painting would lose its relevance if one of the characters were to be erased.
The old book wondered whether it was an illusion, where both the old book of the painting and the old man were an entangled pair.
But then, the old man of the painting and his old book belonged to the same reality.
The thought was chaotic but related to quantum states, it could hold significance.
The old book then noticed that the painting showed no surface damages except for the old book, impairing its visual impact. The degradation of the upper layers of the old book in the painting left no doubt and was not an illusion created by the painter. Its disturbed texture was obvious and foreign to the painting though.
The old book wondered how the cover could be damaged since the book remained unopened.
The old book checked the other books piled up on the staircase, and realized that the painter had not bothered mentionning their titles.
The books had no identity.
He checked again, searching for scratches and loss of paint that could justify their lack of identity, but found no evidence. The paint surface was smooth with tiny regular cracks implying a gentle ageing with no apparent disturbance.
The old book inspected again the surrounding of the old man.
He believed he missed a clue hidden somewhere in the unfriendly room. It struck him that the room was not a physical room, but the brain of the old man of the painting. The old man found shelter in his brain, whose darkness drained his strength. The old book understood now the spatial discrepancy between the old man and his brain. His tormented brain had the upper hand, and was leading him.
His brain was the enemy dragging him down a convoluted staircase of dark thoughts.
The books lacking identity were not books, but thoughts disorders piling up for months. Stacked with one another, they were blocking the way out, entrapping the old man of the painting. A chain of thoughts was clogging his brain. The old book thought that there was still hope for the old man of the painting.
The old man did not focuse his attention on the staircase but on the book. The old man had the solution right in his hand but did not read it yet. The old book wondered why the old man of the painting was delaying opening the book.
Was it because of the presumed rarity of the book ?
His thought was under strain again, and the old book panting, came closer to the old book of the painting in order to decipher the title. The old book stared at the old book of the painting with disbelief, when he read his own name and title engraved on the spine with gold letters.
An unpleasant acid sweat of black ink ran off his shocked leaves.
No sign of overpaint was discernible that could rationally, for his leaves’ peace of mind, explain the uncanny phenomenon.
The title had always been there, and was from the painter’s hand.
The old book kept quiet but his leaves were still in turmoil because of the leaking ink.
He pulled himself together, and decided to proceed to cognitive restructuring to restore his usual rational thinking. By doing so, he rejected the disturbing illusion with all his might, but was unsuccessful.
Although he knew he did not belong to the painting’s reality, he was attracted by it.
The numerous particles of his leaves struggled against him as they were attracted too, by the particles of the painting. The old book decided to end the alarming observation of the painting which made him obviously vulnerable to the painting’s attraction.
He shuddered at the idea that a painting could have a gravitational force.
He redirected his thoughts on his leaves and narrowly rejected the hallucination.
He was back again safe and sound from all this nonsense.
The old book of the painting chose then to send a thought that would never reach the old book in his temporal reality. But then, time was an illusion as well.