Particular Pattern


You are going to get the wrong idea from this picture about the scale of the Olbrich Garden Kaleidescope.  You wouldn’t know, if I didn’t tell you, that this is a very close-up crop of the pattern I saw – a pattern of honeycombs enclosing wine colored pockets, frosted with grey.  So I’ll show you one of the big, over all shots – in fact, maybe I’ll show you all of them.  But not today.

Because today, I want you to share that visceral focus I felt when the kaleidoscope turned.  My mind filled with petals and leaves, each one so specific and clear, their individuality reflected all the more fully through mirrors that recombined them into something they obviously aren’t.  And I knew I was seeing the pattern, yet experienced the breeze trembling in the petals as if my own hair had brushed my cheek.

It’s funny, this state of mind you get into looking through a kaleidoscope.  I think that dialogue between pattern and particular is a two way street our eyes navigate fearlessly, our hearts and minds less so.  Well, maybe our hearts are pretty brave when it comes right down to it.  But my mind – oh, it loves to inhabit the particular, and cringe away from the pattern – as if they were not equally part of a way of seeing something beautiful that, anyway, changes with the slightest November breeze.

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