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 […]

Perception

  How and what we see are interpretations   In part, our uniqueness as individuals traces to our capacity to perceive, beyond merely looking. Aldous Huxley famously observed that “The eyes and the nervous system do the sensing, the mind does the perceiving.” The eyes gather information and the nervous system delivers it to the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nature’s Design Principles

The seeds we water are the ones that grow Over time, a species of tree that evolved into the maple did so in part because it succeeded in finding a way to disburse numerous seeds over a greater distance. As kids we called them “pinwheels” or “helicopter seeds.” Hedging no bets in the area of […]

Flowers

Can they provide a model and direction for human evolution? Color texture and geometry combine here to elicit an immediate visceral response—a Wow!— whether from a potential pollinator or a human observer. It’s the energy of attraction. But from where does it originate? From the flower itself? From the image of the flower? From the […]

Stewardship

Personally taking responsibility for the whole I always enjoy seeing how birds space themselves along a wire. How do they know when close is too close? I’ve watched them land in a space that seems wide enough to maintain a proper distance between them and their neighbors, but if it isn’t enough they’ll adjust. And […]