The Sacred Cacao Tree

Genome researchers found that domestication of cacao originated in Central America about 3,600 years ago. Archaeologists found evidence of it dated to 1900 B.C. in the Pacific coastal plains of Guatemala and Chiapas where it was revered and traded by the Olmec. Izapa, a Late Formative Olmec site in Chiapas, was a particularly rich source […]

Authenticity And 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 heart is,” it could simply consist […]

Symmetry

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, having gotten into the habit of noticing […]

Gratitude

I grew up in the city. My grandparents lived in the country, about thirty miles from us. We visited them most Sundays, year round, from the time I was born through high school. Although this is not a picture if their farm, it brings back vivid memories it. Topping the list of the downside of […]

Emptiness, Peace and Quiet

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 I experienced is heightened, I think, because […]

Growth And Development

  The chambered nautilus is a creature that inhabits the Pacific and Indian oceans, today between depths of 600 to 1200 feet. Appearing in the fossil record before fish, dinosaurs and mammals some 500 million years ago, they grew up to 20 feet long! The spiral occurs as walls are formed to seal off and […]

Contemplation: As Above, So Below

  One of the benefits of a photographic image is that it presents us with a moment, usually a fraction of a second, and holds us there so we can reflect and appreciate the subject matter—and possibly some significance it might have. The live scene or situation in front of the camera is part of […]

Branching

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 and veins, leaves and trees. Branching […]

Success

  Personally, spiritually, professionally, economically, socially, and politically we’re all climbing ladders toward “success.” What prompted the selection of this image for contemplation was hearing someone in a television commercial ask, “What do all artists seek?” His answer: “Recognition.” Ugh! I couldn’t let that go. Did Michelangelo sculpt and paint to be recognized—or for money? […]

Vibration, Resonance, Synergy

Take the full range of individual piano tuning forks and stand up them in a row. Take another one, unmarked, and strike it with a mallet. Of the many forks, the one that sounds will matche the unmarked fork—and identify it. For instance, f-sharp only sounds when it “hears,” or resonates with, the f-sharp frequency. […]