first impressions

     Over the next millennia, the TiWalkMe Escapement will constantly move and bow to the winds of time. Sections age, others regrow, and above all, change is embraced. Details must be left to future generations, but this generation will locate the site, etch the overall plan of paths and trees, and set the clock into motion. Never the less, throughout time three principles should guide its evolution:

Principle 1: The slow march of trees across the Escapement must always be visible and unobstructed.
Principle 2: The Escapement must adapt to future knowledge and needs, yet remain balanced with the past.
Principle 3: TiWalkMe's mission is to bring perspective and insight to its visitors.

     Geometrically, the TiWalkMe Escapement embraces two ancient and universal themes- traditional gardens laid out along intersecting paths, lined by a colonnade of trees with a central water feature- the "River of Life", bisecting the garden. Down the center of the Escapement runs a continuous brook, held tight by stone banks, gathered into ponds along the way. A passive "bell and siphon" periodically drains the ponds into the brook below, recalling civilization's long dependence on annual floods or rainstorms for survival. To either side of the central brook are paths connecting the tree beds and avenues to bridges spanning the water.

     Wandering the Escapement is a journey through religious, landscape and social history. Echoing gardens and parks from the past, large stone monoliths, barrows and field glyphs run through and across the beds, aligned to the stars and planets. Sculpture finds its home defining vistas and sight lines. Walled planting beds periodically sink below the surface, carrying time into the earth and back again through its long march. Fountains celebrate this most liquid of the four elements. And space is left in trust for future explorations.

   Depending on the site's dimensions, ten banks of trees of varied species are planted on each side of the brook. Between every two trees is a path, and after every ten trees, an avenue leading to the bridge. Stone markers, embedded in each avenue count out the decades. To measure the millennia, the "face" of the Escapement contains 100 bridges and 100 avenues, designed periodically through commissions and open competition. The Sites link compares a compact urban, or fully realized 200 acre location- which would be nearly five miles long. Clearly a walk through time requires patience and fortitude.

     Empty tree beds can be filled with wild flowers, community gardens, playgrounds and soccer fields. Naturally, to avoid the march of trees, these uses shift position through the years, but otherwise give voice and context to TiWalkMe.

     As money and time permits, the Escapement will be fully landscaped. Given sufficient funds, by inauguration day the brook will be finished, the paths laid out, and the first trees planted. A thousand years later, the trees will begin their patient trip in return. By then the trees may have evolved, with man's help, to resist disease, to gather nutrients from the air, and even to to glow like a firefly gently at night. Or they may remain inviolate- such is for the future to decide.

     Surrounding TiWalkMe are a host of buildings. Along the edges are scattered a multitude of pavilions where families and visitors can rest, eat, celebrate and enjoy the day. A visitor's center is located near the first row of trees. Within the center, slabs of trees from TiWalkMe which have long since died are sectioned and joined, creating a linear time line of history. Along this line people can reference important events, and place their own family history. They may also purchase seedlings to plant at home to mark important personal events.

     Off-site, roads, public and private transportation bring visitors to the Escapement. Greenhouses nurture next year's seedling. Preferably, the site is visible from afar, much as the clock tower was in villages and towns, as a constant reminder of time knitting the community together.

     Elsewhere in the Escapement is a library, archive and teaching center. While the Escapement's physical mission is to return intuition and perspective to our misappropriating of time, much of TiWalkMe's value is in historical perspective. Most importantly is a Mediation center, where groups in conflict gather to find solutions within the context of historical change.

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