Continuity

  The persistent seed It’s not unusual to see vegetation sprouting through cracks in the pavement, but this little plant was growing in mud alongside a railroad track that had been thoroughly covered with oil. That it’s growing at all speaks to me of the resilience and continuity of life. However the seed got there and […]

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 […]

Flow

It makes a huge difference where we’re planted “Going with the flow” is an expression that suggests it’s a better life strategy is to align with rather than resist what’s happening. As guidance for individual behavior, paddling with the “current”—in the context of home, work and relationships—is certainly easier than paddling against it. In this […]

Love

Metaphysical gravity Something we are?   Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin S.J., wrote that love is “The affinity of being for being.” Affinity recognizes love as an energy that’s not only a human experience, it’s also intrinsic to the universe. In support of this, engineer and futurist, R. Buckminster Fuller, often said […]

Home

What is it? Where is it?   The image of this nest evokes the notion of home. At a family gathering where Jennifer, my daughter, referred to her “home” at the dinner table, I questioned whether she meant her home with us, her parents, or her home nearly two hours away with her husband and son. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nations And Nature

All flags wave in the winds of nature Aside from the symbolism represented by the stars and stripes, the American flag standing against the sky speaks to me of the contrast between nations and nature, and how the former are dependent upon the latter. The flag, most flags, symbolize a people, a group characterized by […]