-  Fiction - A Temporal Elucidation









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



A Temporal Elucidation

Despite emergent impediments within the intrinsic formations and arrangements, they wouldn't intimidate me. I remained undeterred despite their formidable construction. I looked across the easel with a combination of anticipation and resignation. Its unfolding surfaces revealed unexpected complexity. It wasn't articulated on her part, but I didn't need elaboration by that point. She'd graciously allowed me enough latitude to explore and determine the correct path, without requiring her assistance. Whether this was designed to test my abilities or show her my capabilities without expectations still wasn't clear. I resolved to show her that I could ascend without following a predetermined path. This wouldn't be simple; requiring a heightened level of persistence and focus I wasn't used to displaying. Looking into the page's myriad symbols was the simple enough, the difficulty arose when it came time to decide how to proceed. The arranged symbols within its margins consisted of a seemingly overwhelming task deciphering the intangible figures. This unpronounced conversation was accompanied by an equally predominant inner motivation to comprehend the intricately designed forms intuitively. It took some time to sort and collate the figures within, marking them silently without committing firmly to one form over another. I took my fingers and glided them slowly across the page, methodically signaling and highlighting the more pronounced figures. Doing so while avoiding the temptation to arrive at firm conclusions without accompanying substance.

The mirroring and reflecting process began to pick up momentum after I finished that particular object. It had taken longer, requiring more concentration than I expected but my efforts were rewarded to a degree. I hadn't made significant mistakes lending me a sense of confidence that continued to build as I completed subsequent symbols. Completing these in a faithful sequence without diverging from the source material gradually became less draining as i learned to anticipate their common areas, giving me additional time to focus on areas and sections where they diverged from one another. Some of the differences appeared slight, such as a change in angle or a slight difference in point, but these minor changes could indicate significant differences in meaning or function. I was careful not to develop them outside the confines she'd set for them, keenly aware that each symbol on the facing pace had been placed deliberately. It wasn't immediately clear what precisely she was attempting to convey with those symbols. However, she'd been very particular and precise while she imprinted the page, working carefully through each appearance. I followed her lead and worked at a slow, contemplative rate, unwilling to rush through the oncoming symbols. It may have appeared that I was encountering a period of excessive reluctance, but I my objective remained unaltered. I managed to reconstruct her works with as much accuracy as I could maintain, but I was still missing some important elements that could have made my task much easier to accomplish. While their outer shapes gradually became easier for me to work with, their inconclusive meanings and indications remained elusive despite my prolonged and indicate exposure to them.

She'd made a determined effort to conceal their functionality and I still wasn't able to fully understand them. I tried to decipher a fraction of their meaning using my intuition and instincts. It wasn't clear that I was moving along the right path. Looking in her direction, her eyes focused on my work, but she didn't comment. I had to make my own determinations and conclusions. This wasn't easy, but I was able to tenuously arrive at scattered preliminary conclusions from the patterns I was able to extract from the incoherent collection. Each figure appeared to build on the previous symbols when you moved from left to right. This became even more pronounced as you moved down to the next lines, which seemed to grow increasingly complex. The lower symbols seemed to combine simpler elements from the upper sections to create multiple layers of meaning and confirmations. Comprehending further details required a precise lexicon I didn't poses, but I was determined to sketch their outlines to achieve a basic understanding. This was a slow process, but I noticed recurrent patterns emerge as subsequent figures were completed. They began to converge into larger shapes and forms that appeared to become increasingly important when tethered to each other. I noticed that they shared common elements and repeated the common techniques quickly. This allowed me to concentrate my energies on re-composing the unique portions and intricate elaborations many of them required to form larger shapes.

The majority of figures she drew defied straightforward categorization or simplified implementation. Her work was impressive in its complexity and consistency but distant and somewhat incomprehensible due to her uncompromising approach. Gemine worked on them tirelessly and intuitively for the most part, but i ran into problems reproducing some of the more complicated sections. She obviously held a deeper familiarity with the forms and symbols, but I was frustrated as I began encountering more complicated characters. I felt my fingers grow uncertain when I encountered unanticipated forms. These occurred as Gemine's work stratified into different approaches. Particular symbols were deceptive and difficult to convey. Certain areas occurred that appeared to extend in irrational directions and take erratic forms. These were the most difficult figures she drew for me to redefine and recapture with clarity. I remained careful not to diverge from Gemine's original designs but felt my efforts becoming increasingly inadequate placed alongside to her resplendent, indescribably inspired work. Holding myself to this standard wasn't easy, and it was tempting to draw simpler solutions and blur the pencil-marks. I realized that she was watching me the entire time and would quickly catch-on if I fell into temptation and took a simplified route to lessen the burden. Gemine's eyes remained sharp and I didn't want to risk enduring her cutting response if I attempted to brush off the most-challenging elements within her increasingly elaborate pieces.

Staking out the remaining illustrations, I slowly realized the task ahead of me was going to entail a lot more copying and repetition than it initially appeared upon my first inspection. There were probably about a hundred small illustrations scattered on the page. It would take an enormous amount of effort to recreate the remaining work, though it wouldn't be impossible. I looked into her hands and wondered how she was able to move so presciently over the page, based solely on instinct and memory. She needed no assistance with her creations, mechanical or otherwise, and probably assumed that I wouldn't need any help, either. I felt those indicators converge and it seemed that they'd been placed methodically, surreptiously set for a coordinated assault. They swarmed across the page without fear, converging in a multitude of divergent paths, standing ready while patiently awaiting my next move. In response, i looked past some of the seemingly intervening or directional, figures and narrowed my next selection to something with a substantive purpose. I attempted to ascertain which of them would best serve that purpose, but nothing separated itself from the pack after my initial inspection. I looked in the western side, then switched towards the opposite but nothing really stood out. Attempting to survey them remained difficult since the figures were somewhat intertwined, making them hard to judge in isolation. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide which particular shape could be correctly recreated without excessive difficulty became increasingly nebulous. The unbroached forms left on her page were rapidly becoming unapproachable, consisting of multiple elements that were harder to separate and simplify, adding their visible, intertwined connections only made their design and structure intrinsically formidable and more difficult for me to convey with accuracy.

Tangentially setting aside the immediate constriction, I switched focus and went back to my work. In order to give myself some breathing room. Turning my attention in an divergent direction, setting my hands towards my own work more directly. Pivoting quickly, I implemented a sequence of relatively minor adjustments and corrections to enhance the accuracy of my earlier work. Simultaneously, focusing on this task allowed me to retain a threshold of activity while diverting the indecision blocking my next path. I worked on several of the forms and symbols intently, changing their direction slightly, narrowing certain lines and adding small details that emanated additional resolution. These changes came about slowly, since I had to maintain their original inspiration, but couldn't diverge from her designs. This allowed me to create a respite. My fingers moved across the page unscathed, but I wasn't working on anything significant. Gemine watched closely and quickly seemed to notice my focus remained on the same sections of the page. Concerned that I was running in a circle of some unknown magnitude, Gemine motioned for me to move on. I acknowledged her worry with a nod, then shrugged my shoulders. I reluctantly finished, made a few additional changes to the resolved form and put the pencil down, with some exasperation. I slowly began to move from the canvas, with lingering disappointment, unsure how to break through the barrier the remaining figures put in front of me I started to move in Gemine's direction, surrendering to its inherent complexity far beyond my capabilities. I'd reached a recalcitrant point where I couldn't endeavor further progress. Its consistency had surpassed my modest expectations but I could no longer hope to transfer her remaining forms with the significant accuracy she demanded. She didn't share my insecurity and waved her hands around in circles, telling me to turn back, unsparingly.

I wasn't expecting an insistent resistance to the blockade and subsequent resilience in her assurance of my potential on her part, indicating a residing endurance went contrary to my expectations. I still wasn't sure what Gemine visualized when she briefly looked inside my mind, but I must have made a stronger impression than I realized which invigorated her belief in my internal capacities. She remained unwavering in her determination that I continue mimicking her work, for unknown reasons. Looking in her direction, I noticed her gaze had become fixated on my position without indulgence, Gemine was unwilling to listen to my protestations. Returning to the uneven symbols scattered across the page was somewhat unsettling, but she left me little choice. I surveyed the figures with a somewhat despondent approach. The figures remained impassive on the page, but with held their underlying purpose, despite my repeated efforts to intervene. She held her silence when it came to defining their sensibilities or inert forms, dismissing my encounter with ennui as a temporary drawback she seemed confident I'd be able to conquer if I maintained a level eye. Gemine appeared to have little patience for my insecurity and unforeseen insinuations of deference, which delayed further incursions into the page. After contemplating the page somewhat defensively, I decided that inner consternation was getting in the way. Insufficiently deterred, I managed to document a symbol that created an incomprehensible aura.

Its hastily-drafted, inconsistent surface divided unevenly into multiple sections that appeared to overlap and clash with each other. This created a small symbol resplendent with inner contradictions. When I looked at it closely, it appeared to indicate opposing forces within the same form. Descending beneath its surface, a series of narrow lines crossed one another, creating miniature crosses and paths which appeared to lead to unparalleled, impassible entries. Rhetorically, the symbol defied understanding, and while it seemed to map a particular location, the layout and structure of that place was uneven, disorganized, bordering on chaotic. However, when observing its overall appearance, its intractable appearance seemed to be the result of an external force, surveying the results some kind of accident or disaster. I was immediately fascinated by its endemic partitions, and determined to capture at least some of its illogical flailing. I wasn't immediately sure how accurately I needed to convey its visible defects, but decided to move carefully. I took the least damaged sections of the map and drew their broken lines, screeching halts and sudden continuations easily. Indicated by straight lines, other destruction was harder for my hand to realize but I made a calculated effort. Certain sections of the figure were purposely vacant, to highlight missing or destroyed elements. Stray lines unfolded in curves, stringing along the edges and swirling around at random across the broken interior. Scattered across this incongruously jarring section, were larger darkened areas that appeared to consume whatever was unfortunate enough to lie beneath them.

The enlivened pencil moved at a steadier pace and I felt a malignant force coming through. At first, it's pacing and movement seemed random, almost unpredictable. This was unsettling for a brief period, and I felt a strong urge to look away. Closing my eyes for a moment's escape, I was able to block out its chaos but still had to cope with an uneasy sensation. Disputing my aversion, the form seemed to retain its hold and even though I couldn't see it, I heard an unexpected tingling in my ear, as if it was trying to articulate a specific point but the confused, incoherent figure could only manage incoherent mumbling. While its purpose wasn't enunciated clearly, it quickly became evident that it represented a warning of potentially unpleasant events and ramifications. Drawing it anew with own my hand seemed to reinforce its message and its purpose seemed to transcend my initial resolution. After I'd completed the majority of the figure, my intuition about its meaning began to evolve, instilling the figure with greater significance. It entailed more than a simple recounting of a disaster from the past and instead conveyed events of the future that would be better avoided than experienced. Gemine didn't elaborate on specific points I needed to stay away from, but I realized she did. Setting a final flash of inspiration, I elaborated on its design with an array of scattered extruding lines flowing outward, adding further intricacy to the drawing.
Once I'd finished with the initial section of composition, I looked in her eyes and noticed an insightful line I hadn't seen before. Gemine seemed to have returned her unrivalled focus to the easel, returning assessment of my work, if only momentarily. Her pronounced reluctance to interfere inexplicably pierced and a strangely emphatic denouement reinforced when she arrived at an unexpected observation. Gemine told me to listen to the intrusive sounds I heard carefully. She firmly advised me that it was imperative for me to listen astutely for the figure's shaky, tentative voice without displacing it's vibrant tones. Gemine further elaborated and instructed me to inhabit a fuller comprehension that would allow me to simultaneously view its distinctive hues from a unique angle while letting its form and voice stand firm, aside from the noise and clutter surrounding them. Surreptitiously, the insipient sounds remained in the background without intrusion into the main objective. It wasn't prominent or particularly distracting at that point. Its accompaniment secondary to comprehending the putative symbols and forms throughout her page. It didn't seem particularly important during its preliminary instance.

Maintaining both direct and circular motions required a steady hold on the pencil, a primary focus fixed on reinstituting Gemine's intricate symbols with my own hand. I wouldn't allow an incomprehensible arrangement of disconnected sounds occurring at low volume block progress. The noise was probably meaningless, anyhow. I determined it arrived from an unimportant source. The sounds and noise scattered and occurred sporadically, signaling its transient nature. The emanations sounded like echoing from a distant point from an unknown point within in the tower. There was no need to dwell on their diminishing levels, quietly echoing through the halls. Looking over on additional figures absorbed my temperament, they were thoroughly engaging on their own and didn't need further elaboration. Imperceptivity, an unexpected phenomenon occurred as I completed additional figures. I worked fervently and with increasing consistency, initially unswayed by the eviscerating noises in the distance. I'd managed to become proficient in accurately reproducing additional characters and reconstructed their forms. My compositional system unfolded in methodical fashion after completing a resulting sequence of half a dozen or so figures. This work proceeded at a robust pace and engaging resolve. Those hastily-formed compositions consisted of varied forms and sizes which I reconstructed quickly without dwelling on their meaning. Looking across the page, there was an unsettling realization that came to prominence. The phenomenon wasn't immediately obvious but became unavoidable once I noticed its occurrence. The disparate, static figures shared connections when the figures turned and shifted direction. Many of the forms converged and intertwined narrowly, overrunning each other at specific points, extending past at their margins. There were visible intrusions marked by occasional, protruding intersections and extensions that resulted in a sequence of unlikely convergence that signified unseen connections between their individual forms and shapes.

When I leaned in and focused my attention on these convergent portions, I encountered a reinforcing occurrence. Listening closely, the discordant noises grew louder and the pictures appeared to converse with each other with some type of unarticulated language. I couldn't precisely understand what they were attempting to communicate or cogently explain the reason why this occurred, but the smaller pieces shared a clandestine system of linguistics that seemed to implement unspoken yet elaborate communication. Gradually, unmistakable sounds emerged that I could almost hear them conveying their plans to each other. It wasn't easy to comprehend them. My attempts to copy their form without accompanying meaning faithfully suddenly felt inadequate. There were things that couldn't be recreated solely through the pencil's movements relying completely on visual observation alone. Attempting to instill them with vibrancy working almost mechanically had proven insufficient. I contributed an approximation despite receiving no formal guidelines on her part or indications from the opposite page. Taking this enumerated, systemic approach wasn't edifying, my work couldn't mimic her style and form to the degree anticipated.

Outwardly, I made visible progress on the surface, filling the page quickly with rough approximations of her symbols and design. Issuing the pencil's commands became increasingly performative as I moved across the page but I encountered several intervals where I remained unconvinced as to how I should proceed. When I examined the page with any depth and clarity, my resulting images felt undefined, inherently derivative and undefined. Inset with trepidation and only marginal inspiration, my figures lacked the flourish she maintained effortlessly. I took a step back and looked around the nearly-empty, relatively deserted room. It's blank surfaces and unadorned walls gave little additional inspiration, offering little aside from stoic detachment. I'd become somewhat discouraged by the entropy that had accumulated surrounding my putative mission. I decided to take a moment's respite and looked in her direction. hoping but not expecting further advice from her. Gemine stood across the largely vacant room, intrinsically unmoved by my inarticulate but pronounced implorations.
Gazing helplessly into her eyes, I reluctantly admitted that I'd reached an unbreachable point. I emphasized that I felt I could go no further by watching with minimal blinking, but knew my efforts wouldn't change her disposition. I realized there was no possibility that I'd be able to interrupt her irrevocable decision. My efforts would arrive at naught, I couldn't intervene. I waited for her to invoke any tangible signal, even a minor correlation, but I underestimated her resolve. Gemine resisted my incursions, silently deflecting my call for assistance. Gemine saw through my protestations and disengagement immediately. Knowing what I was capable of withstanding, she wasn't going to allow me to retreat after I'd come so far. She expected me to find the answers without her assistance and stood by the decision despite the intervening resistance I encountered. I quickly decided to forsake dependency on her. I embarked on a more forceful approach. I looked away from her direction and noticed her eyes had become noticeably less incursive. This allowed me some breathing room, which allowed my attention to return attention to the page, without underlying expectations. I resumed tracing the figures on the page with reinvigorated inspiration, hoping that I'd be able to extract a solution to the emergent entropy avoiding further unnecessary detriment.
Without marking the page further with the pencil, I began tracing the figures just above the page in order to gain a better feel for her approach and design. This allowed me enough space and energy to contemplate my next step into the thin canvas. I contemplated the symbols as I traced them lightly. This re-approachment allowed me a greater comprehension, and I quickly arrived at what appeared to be acceptable solution after a short contemplation. My solution wasn't perfect and appeared simplistic, but it was effective. I decided to adjust my perspective independently, which would hopefully reveal hidden points and unravel cloaked meaning. I performed the simplest act with my feet. Moving half a step backward, approximately half-a-dozen inches. This didn't mark an overly dramatic change to the frame staring back at me but the subtle change was surprisingly transformative. I noticed a slight shift immediately and began looking over the page with renewed energy, while the lingering resignation diminished rapidly. There remained an unexpectedly prominent sense of dissolution; the technically correct but aesthetically deficient symbols I'd composed appeared to diminish upon further inspection. This became increasingly prevalent as I internalized my uninspired, shrunken designs and compared them with her transcendent forms that exceed their narrow compartments. I'd only managed to form shallow copies of Gemine's work despite my stringent efforts. I sensed the pencil inexorably slipping from my grasp, its intuitive alignment falling out of sync. My fingers slowly released their underlying grip, holding its position confidentially became increasingly fraught. I felt its surface deteriorate, intermingled with uncertainty and doubt. I watched with dejection as the drawings I carefully created slowly diminished in importance amid reductive accuracy. I looked in Gemine's direction somewhat hopelessly; feeling increasingly disappointed and redolent. My fears grew and I was once again afraid to look in her eyes but for very different reasons. I was afraid she'd find that I'd strayed too far from her path, proceeding without inspiration lacking clear motivation or convincing implementation.

Gemine walked towards the easel ahead of me and I looked over her shoulder uneasily. Awaiting her negative insinuation, I steadied myself for the inevitable disenchantment that was sure to follow. There was an unexpected occurrence as she drew near the easel. The cacophonous voices seemed to settle into near-complete dormancy, silently deferring to her presence without admonition. This allowed her a measure of tranquility, which allowed her to concentrate on my visual implementations without any noticeable audible distractions. Quietly surveying my inarguably transparent, glaringly unfinished forms with a steady gaze, she didn't flinch or reveal lengthy entreaties. She kept her thoughts materially internalized, definitively nonjudgmental and her disposition resolute, her modest organization and movements deliberately unimposing.
Gemine's perceptive eyes moved across the page methodically but she wouldn't verbalize her initial conclusions. She lifted her hands overhead just beyond its surface and pointedly swiped her fingers over the page firmly without contact. I watched her consistently moving at a steady pace between my tentatively-sketched illustrations without making firm determinations or precursive conjecture regarding their temporal qualities or physical implementation. Walking purposefully towards the easel for a closer inspection, she appeared to narrow her gaze to examine specific objects. Without any guidance from my part, Gemine appeared somehow impressed by my work, despite its evident flaws and problems.

After fermenting pronounced deliberation, Gemine arrived at an unexpected conclusion. She quickly turned her gaze outward and stared in my direction asked an unlikely question. She wondered if I'd learned anything about the figures I was painting, had anything tangible emerged after I'd shifted approach and began composing figures myself, using only my imagination and intuition. I contemplated her insightful question for several minutes before responding appropriately. I still wasn't entirely certain what the figured represented but decided to share a tangential determination. I spoke in a measured, uncertain tone and tentatively offered that they seemed to share a sense of direction. However, i added that their specific measurements and indications remained unclear. This undermined my conclusions and caused me to lose confidence. I explained that it seemed that I could recreate their basic forms but couldn't trace what they represented. I further elaborated that It was difficult for me to articulate tangible words that might emerge from within their complicated syntax.
The thick, foundational outlines surrounding each figure revealed structures but the redolent details remained dampened. Gemine appeared to understand that I'd gotten stuck assembling the ill-fitting pieces, but seemed to appreciate my efforts. She didn't seem to mind the fact that I hadn't come close to reaching an objective understanding or even partial comprehension. She nodded respectfully and offered me a surprising compliment; saying that I'd made more progress than I realized. Adding further elaboration, I confessed that I hadn't been able to recreate the spirit of her paintings effectively, and had fallen short of her intrinsic talents and skills. She glanced back over the page quickly recalibrating her expectations aligning them with my efforts. After several minutes her initial discouragement in me modified to a generous degree. Her eyes turned in my direction and she didn't say a word. It appeared that she was somewhat pleased with the resulting demonstration of my ascendant work. I couldn't be entirely sure, since she didn't verbalize anything critical or offer reassurance. She trained her eyes firmly on the page without articulation, determining the work's merit while maintaining her consistent silence and keeping her conclusions at a careful remove.

After expending an disorientingly muted, unnervingly silent interval contemplating and internalizing the intricate reflections I created, she finally relented. She waved her arms upward with approval; the was little doubt she was impressed. I listened intently as Gemine elaborated, with measured assurance mixed with understated criticism. She might have been somewhat mistaken in her assumptions about my capabilities. She admitted that she could have reading more potential into my work than my experience could deliver at that point. She looked me over somewhat confused, until eventually reconciling her impatient expectations with a measure of residual justification. Gemine paced parallel to the easel for several moments before marking her points with unmistakable erudition. Signaling strongly, her voice rose and strengthened, leaving no room for doubt. Gemine commended me for my consistent approach. She very much appreciated and unreservedly approved my unwavering fidelity and unflinching internalization of her work. Before enthusiasm got ahead of herself, she lowered her pitch a notch, lessening her initial ebullience in check. Taking a moment to comp quickly balancing her enthusiastic response. Looking into the page, she'd found residing issues. There were technical problems, such as stray lines and uneven forms, erratic spacing and visual inaccuracies. Gemine surmised that most of the imperfections were the result of inexperience, not a lack of talent. She advised me not to let minor problems weren't the biggest obstacle in my way. The most important deficiency wasn't immediately visible on the surface but became unavoidable once encountered.

She implied that she couldn't avoid a similar impediment blocking my path. I'd only partially arrived at the over-arching goal. She paused for a moment to settle on the most appropriate words then quietly, eventually verbalizing her thoughtful intuition clearly with unmistakable firmness. She carefully inferred that reflexively copying her work meant reclaiming the source of her inspiration would be the most difficult thing to realize and convey. She knew I'd eventually find an appropriate level of my own creation, but I hadn't arrived at that point yet. Gemine explained that she was pleased by how successfully I'd been able to faithfully reformulate her designs on my own, without her direct assistance or verbal pronouncements. However, she added that shared my sense that something intangible was missing from the assembled reproductions. She paused and elaborated on her intuition, stating that there were limits to what could be achieved by copying someone else's designs. These constraints were inherent to the determined process. It might have appeared redundant or tedious, but completing a significant portion of this effort had already provided an essential foundation for me to build upon.

Gemine apologized for not stopping me sooner, explaining she wanted to ensure I'd reached a functional, non-conditional understanding of her elicited forms before proceeding to endeavor with a more complicated, not easily-definable task. Gemine further unfurled her project's larger meaning and clandestine purpose. Quickly shifting attention towards the unfinished sketches, she broached her hands along her sides and explained quickly that she never expected me to copy each object displayed on her page. Gemine complimented me and said she was impressed by the number of shapes I'd managed to recreate with a noticeable degree of competency. However, she intuitively realized that my energetic allusions weren't going to suffice. Gemine's instructive reading of my work confirmed my innermost worries, but I wasn't sure how to proceed. Gemine concluded her dispersion with an unexpected inversion that changed my perspective immediately. She asked me to take a further step and look at the wavering page closely. I wasn't sure what she intended but I followed suit.

My eyes were drawn to the rough approximations I'd made but it wasn't clear what I was supposed to learn by reinterpreting them once again. Following along their unfinished. rough paths appeared to lead nowhere, marking them with additional points or lines wouldn't help, so I withdrew the pencil quickly before I added elements recklessly. Watching the objects on the surface, they seemed to lack the connection and shared foundations her figures displayed abundantly. They sat on the page, taking a passive, insufficient and dormant position that couldn't match the conversant figures she composed. She watched me covering the page for a short time before resolving my quandary. She walked towards the page and took the pen in her hand with accumulative determination and intrinsic fermentation. I wasn't sure what she intended to achieve, but she moved to take control, embarking into the page fearlessly. She began scrawling a distinctive character on the page, skipping past her other figures to design a further elaboration. She filled its sides quickly, adding distinctive flourishes and imposing her signature style on the section. After taking several minutes' to perfect her design, she appeared satisfied with its appearance and stopped without progressing to another form.

I wasn't sure what she intended to convey with her deceptively-angled piece, but it seemed to counter the earlier sections. Its sides tilted eastward while its countervailing lines spread across it at an opposing angle, elongated and pointing upward, as opposed to the straight lines and forms that predominated her earlier work. It appeared just as robust as her earlier work but infused with a distinctive look that seemed to convey a unique word or phrase, spoken a different dialect. Her approach seemed to draw only tangentially from earlier designs, taking on a unique appearance that stood apart from the surrounding subjects. Its form looked distinctive, yet its boundaries felt undefined, almost immeasurable. Gemine had created a minor rupture within the page with the addition of a single diminutive figure. I wasn't sure what its lasting connotations might entail but she appeared pleased with her work's consistency, quality and, pronounced impact. Deciding that further divergence wasn't needed, she entered an inexplicable denouement. She bowed briefly towards the easel, indicating her work was finally finished. With a certain amount of ceremony, she took the pencil, twirled it around before resting it respectfully beneath the easel on its side, letting it recline mercifully in the easel's bezel.

She turned in my direction, gliding her fingers across the surface pointedly and told me that the time had arrived for me to resume work. Gemine told me that she hoped I'd been following her closely and paying attention. Elaborating, her voice flattened and intensified, insinuating that her expectations had changed significantly. She told me that I was no longer expected to copy her work directly. This seemed strange until she added that she wanted me to take inspiration from her figure. She grown confident, after looking at my work extensively, that it was time for me to take a more pronounced step and begin implementing a figure of my own design. I was taken off-guard by this sudden shift in her advice and didn't feel entirely prepared to follow through. I'd taken a long examination of her tilted, unparallel drawing and made elaborate plans within my mind on how I'd be able to reconstitute its features, as dislocated and contradictory as they appeared.

I looked toward her piercing violet eyes somewhat despondently, lacking confidence. I was somewhat mystified. It wasn't obvious what precisely she expected me to deliver or how I'd be able to match her resplendent figure's insistent qualities. It stood out from the revolving figures on the page, manifestly emboldened with a unique style and energy. My eyes couldn't adequately comprehend its complexity and structure, but she'd changed the rules. It seemed she wanted me to design a figure on my own without pretext. This made me increasingly anxious, and I waited for further indications on her part. She stood silently but motioned for me to reorient myself back in front of the easel. I reluctantly walked towards it and quickly felt overwhelmed. The figures I'd drawn appeared to be a confusing, jumbled mess in comparison to her work.

Looking at the pencil nervously, I carefully examined the intangible shapes within the page, unsure where precisely to forage. I tangentially began the intrusive process within the cluttered surface. Waiting for further direction. Quickly finding myself entangled, my hands destabilized and floundered around aimlessly within the disembodied, inconclusive compositions. Gemine stood silently and watched as I stood in front of the easel with stagnant focus and motionless response. Attempting to find a sliver of intuition, I remained frustratingly unable to find my way past its intimidating glare. Several long minutes passed until she finally realized then quickly deciphered the formidable impediment's source. She advised me not to dwell on the area I'd already filled, allowing its conflicting structure to hold me back. Gemine told me to change my constrained focus and look instead toward the large sections of the page I'd left empty. There was plenty of space remaining, It just appeared somewhat limited squeezed between the predominant large figures. She reiterated that I needed to take a more pronounced approach and risk creation. Gemine instructed me in strident, sharp tones, to commence without further obstinance before I lost the inspiration she'd generously provided.

I thought about what she said for a short time and quickly realized that she was right, to a degree. She had more confidence in me than I did, but I decided to follow her advice. I took a step closer towards the easel and reversed my first inclination. Examining the spaces between its constellation indicated a surprising abundance of open areas. She was correct in that regard. I compared these vacant sections, looking for one that would provide me enough space to create with a free hand. My eyes determined the section as I leaned in closely to measure its dimensions carefully. I looked at the nearby figures to make sure nothing would cross over. Some of these held moderate extensions, none of them appeared to interfere or overlap with plain surface available. I leaned down and reclaimed the pencil, it felt constrained, maintaining a noncommittal disposition no longer infused with excessive reticence. Grasping it firmly in my hand I felt a surge of emotion, its force strangely undiminished. I held it up to eye-level to check its end, and was relieved to find it remained sharp and narrow, without need for adjustment. I placed it forward and held its form in my hand, with replenished inspiration, driven largely by her integral confidence. With her strong foundation of support laid firmly beneath my hand, I commenced the initial stage of design.

Beginning with a somewhat purposeful pause, I briefly contemplated where to begin. Several conductive ideas formed inside my mind but I needed to carefully select only a single form, extracting the most promising thoughts that emerged. I settled on a form within my mind that met several important characteristics. The truculent symbol I had in mind resembled the others, maintaining a consistency with the others, sharing several key elements, while differing to a significant degree. Insulating it from becoming noticeably derivative, I carefully checked the other page to make sure I wasn't repeating something already present. I strenuously avoided even subconsciously repeating her work. Looking back on the empty space present, I measured it against the form imagined and reinstituted my decision; my imagined figure would fit right in without seriously disrupting the surrounding forms. The lingering effects of residual uneasiness evaporated quickly when I turned the pencil's point onto the page and made my initial mark.

It tracked a short line through an putatively unseen form, extending though the invisible shape without encountering a substantial barrier. Pleased with my initial foundation, I followed quickly with a perpendicular line that intersected along its western side, passing through and beyond. This intersection proved crucial when I added the next portion, a large rectangle that encompassed the entirely of the initial design without overwhelming it. My work began to slowly coalesce as I completed its outline, but I was far from finished. Imprinting a secondary line through the center, this one was noticeably shorter in length, extending only about half-way through the length of its adjoining parallel line.

This diminutive encroachment appeared to create a minor dislocation, but I added another line, running across in direct correlation to the initial cross, giving my symbol a relative sense of weight and balance. It appeared to have reached a reasonable conclusion but my symbol still wasn't complete. Intervening elements were missing, but I had to be careful adding them. I didn't want to misinterpret their unchanging, essential forms. Undoing them would require strenuous effort if I got them wrong. My hands drew inward as I reduced my initial frenetic pace. Slowing down a tad allowed me to focus my energies on those portions. I looked over the convergent lines and determined what they needed.

I added a series of emphatic black dots above and across the upper sections, leaving the lower portions blank. At this point, my form resembled the image I had in mind with surprising accuracy. It seemed to have come about purely from intuition and memory, I was able to plot the lines and spaces efficiently and accurately without taking time to measure them. It appeared that I'd learned to trust my eyes from repeatedly copying her work with assiduous fidelity. This made sense to a certain extent. My eyes and fingers worked seamlessly in tandem. I'd somehow internalized this capability, without realizing what was occurring. I was somehow, instinctively able to transfer my thoughts to realization with precision. I'd conveyed my vision unassisted, its emerging design involved an object that had previously only existed in my imagination. This was a gratifying development but arrived somewhat unexpectedly.

Expressing relief at her approval, I graciously added significant finishing elaborations to my composition without retreating from uncertainty. It seemed slightly smaller than I anticipated but the extra space gave the figure room to emanate its form without intrusion from other nearby figures. With this in mind, I made only minor adjustments and sparing elaborations, allowing it to subsist without further interference from the external forms. I maintained a deliberate remove from my work as it neared completion, assigning myself to fortify the endemic portions while leaving the rest to settle unobtrusively. Filling in the last sections without excess flourish took a significant measure of restraint, but I was able to rebuff the desire to unduly complicate the drawing. Completing my work required a more sustained, thoughtful effort but rewarded me with accompanying knowledge of the intricate forms and stratified lines contained within their borders.

Those inherently elusive formations were accompanied with an indescribable reverence for her improbable creations. However, my unguarded appreciation simultaneously elicited a different set of barriers leading to uncertainty and anxious apprehension. When I looked at my composition, I wondered what Gemine's response would encompass. I worried that about its design and structure. It didn't appear that anything was really wrong or missing, but I remained uncertain of her eventual reaction. I felt conflicting thoughts alternating between my work appearing defensively simplistic or overly complex, depending on my angle, distance, and point of view. Their symbolic meanings appeared to shift in dramatic response to even the most minor adjustment, their meaning quickly metamorphasized in response to even the smallest change. I shifted my feet slightly to adjust my inner balance, but even that almost-imperceptible change in my location and disposition lead to a pronounced and rapid contrast in perspective.

I turned away from the drawing easel. I tried to form a coherent explanation, my fingers tightened and I felt them clinging around the pencil for support. Despite attempts to fortify a modest excavation of my efforts, indeterminate doubt took hold. I stumbled across several sentences before falling apart under the inescapable pressure exuded from her immeasurable expectations. I felt myself losing altitude, and found great difficulty attempting to convey the inspiration and motivation behind my illustration to her. Apparently, she anticipated my defenses and interjected before I could enunciate a reasonably constructed articulation. She further reassured me that I didn't need to worry about convincing her. I didn't understand what she meant when she conveyed her unwavering confidence in my nascent capabilities. Her unexpected acquiescence gave me an unanticipated sense of relief I couldn't comprehend initially. There was a prolonged silence and uneasy quiet before Gemine's lingering reticence quietly evaporated. Her consecutive actions indescribable yet unmistakable. Her tangentially ceremonial mannerisms and inherent resolve were accompanied by an unspoken foundation of intangible energies and predetermined inevitability. Gemine's position secured, I watched as her steady fingers moved over the page silently without making contact. She held her hands level, confidentially assigning their movement as they pierced the conspicuously silent interval. Gemine further motioned closer towards the page with a simple nod. She waved her hand that across its surface before consolidating her attention on the design. I watched her efficient fingers tracing its shape instinctively, perfectly shadowing the symbol's form without deferring a second glance in its direction, signifying immediate recognition on her part; she knew more than I realized. Gemine's incursive eyes had already visualized the intricate figure I'd compose before I lifted the pencil.

- Michael Palisano