Sunday, October 14, 2012

the rhythm of life...

the camera can't capture the motion of the ripples, but
this is the spot and the morning light.
I'm sitting by the shore, gazing at the lake in early morning. The softest of smoothest ripples slowly move toward shore - only a breath of wind. And they are reflecting the slanting sunlight up on the overhanging birches, the white bark acting like a projection screen capturing their slow-motion rhythm. And as I study those delicate, linear reflections shimmering above me - amazingly - I discover that they move up the birch trunks the way a caterpillar's legs move: they spread out, come together, spread out, come together with a rhythmic start - stop kind of thing...  If you ever studied multi-legged insects, one leg will stop briefly while all the legs behind come closer together and then all the legs out in front spread apart; and if I track one ripple's reflection as it moves up the tree it goes start - stop, start - stop, with the lower ones catching up and then the upper ones spreading out, just like a caterpillar...
How can that be?
I study the ripples in the lake closely; they are seemingly even, moving toward shore in a steadied, regular pattern. Yet there is obviously some kind of start/stop pattern or quality that is undetectable on the water's surface, but made obvious - magnified - by their reflected light. Together. Away. Caterpillar legs. Waves. The movement pattern is shared, and is itself a reflection of the wave motion of all the energy that resonates throughout the universe.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I stepped out onto the screened porch of a cabin on Belgrade Lake and I beheld an inspiration... a display of visual coherence. The cabin is just two feet of pine-needle-covered-path from where the bank drops to the water, and about half way down the bank a fern's fronds spread in the morning sun. The soft movement of leaves in an overhanging birch filter the sunlight and spatter the bank with quivering splashes of deep gold, and as the fern's fronds tremble in the slight breeze they shimmer rhythmically. The dual movement patterns of shifting light and fluttering foliage overlap, vibrating with morning's energy.

Looking just beyond the fern to the water's surface, alternating ultramarine and cerulean surface reflections move in a soft ripple pattern akin to patterns the flowing tide leaves in the sand. Gleaming through this blue surface pattern are gold strips of focused light moving across the rock shapes on the lake bottom; each individual ripple creates its own gold refraction line.  The gold lines merge and fluctuate like vibrating zebra stripes, passing from left to right as the waves respond to the slight breeze; their changing shapes illuminate the topography of the lake bed.

As I stood there transfixed, it was obvious to me that these patterns of movement were the same, juxtaposed for my benefit. The rhythm of the golden refraction pattern fluttering across the lake bottom danced with the same energy as the individual fern fronds vibrating in the breeze under the shifting sunlight. So different, but pulsing with coherence.  Energy and matter - essence and form; it is shimmering all around us.