Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pattern and Meaning

Earth in Space
NASA photo, Apollo 11 mission.
Who cannot help being humbled by the vastness of the cosmos as compared to the smallness of our earthly home. We are indeed a tiny dot in the universe, but I do not believe significance is a matter of size. I've always been fascinated by the dynamics of pattern -- how pattern reproduces itself in vastly different scales, and how the blueprint of the universe is intimately bound through self-replicating forms.


I revel in how the arrangements of nature are ensconced in space and time; the way patterns are displayed in our planet's landmasses, in the atmosphere and in the oceans. There is an artistry to the earth's physical landscapes that is more richly textured than any human work.

Double Helix
AAAS Image

Walking along a beach I watch the swells run up the sand, weave and merge, and return to the ocean as braided rivulets, and it reminds me of the great river systems of our world.  It brings back memories of the curls in my son hair, the capillaries that course through his young body, and the double helix of DNA that constructs his being. 

Joe and Paul in 2002

So perhaps, it is within the pattern of things that we humans can find solace in this vastness of space. The same patterns, that no matter the scale, inform us that we are an integral part of the cosmos; that our existence is as much a reflection of the universe as is the largest galaxy cluster.

Milky Way
NASA Image