Particularity

A strategy for making the ordinary look special In the early years, I used to spend a lot of time walking up and down the many rows of vendors at outdoor antique fairs looking for that rare situation where the quality of light illuminating an object peaked my aesthetic sensibility. Later on, I noticed that […]

Perspective and Perception

From where we are looking, what is our view of the world?   Being six-foot-five, I’ve always viewed the world from a slightly higher perspective than most people. For instance, I see the tops of furniture and people’s heads, and I can see farther in a crowd. No big deal. But that each of us […]

Joy

The soul’s feedback mechanism   When I first printed this image, I thought it was a nice expression of childhood exuberance. Looking deeper now, I see  humanity standing between earth and cosmos expressing joy. Given how our bodies evolved from the earth, it’s like the planet’s rising up here, now conscious, reaching out in a […]

Contribution And Legacy

Whole systems considerations on what’s worth doing What do we leave behind? What are we contributing? And to what? Does it matter? These questions come to mind as I contemplate this image. Irrespective of the bird’s unconscious act of fluffing off a feather, it served as a contribution by triggering my aesthetic appreciation. And by […]

Light And Shadow

An aesthetic and so much more There’s an intrinsic satisfaction, an aesthetic pleasure, that comes from the experience of light when it plays a prominent, sometimes dominant, role in a photograph or painting. The works of masters such as Rembrandt, Turner, and Hooper are largely characterized and revered for the qualities of light they depict. Light […]

Emergents and the Universe Story

In considering this image for contemplation, the theme that first came to mind was “immensity.” However, in keeping with my propensity to trace subject matter back to its origins, I observed that every human being and before that, critters with eyes who ever lived, has seen skies like this. Curious to know when an atmosphere […]

Authenticity / Going Home

Where is our true home?   As these geese take flight, returning to the places they were born to find food and mates, my thoughts turn to the place we call “home.” For some, it’s where we were born, the house we lived in the longest or where we live now. If “Home is where the […]

Symmetry

A sign of balance and agreement According to Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, “It is only slightly overstating the case to say that physics is the study of symmetry.” The word “symmetry” comes from the Greek, synnetria, meaning “Agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement.” I’ve chosen this theme for contemplation because, somewhere along the line, I’d […]

Serenity

Where peace precipitates the power of potential On the evening this photograph was made, the dominant sound in this airport parking lot was birds—a stark contrast to the busyness and clamor of cars, shuttle-busses and conversations that once pervaded it day and night for several years. The difference between the activity then and the serenity […]

Branching

How life moves in sustainable ways From universe to “nanoverse,” one of nature’s most common structural features is “branching.” Networks of all kinds, physical and intellectual, are grounded in a pattern that chemists refer to as “child” (smaller channels) and “parent” (larger) branches. At the human level we see it in living systems—the brain, arteries […]