Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I used to love the process of tie-dye.  I even went to the library and checked out books on African and Asian tie-dye patterns and techniques. It was a great medium because it combined planned design with interesting accident, or chaos, if you will.  This was the source of its fascination as far as I was concerned. I would dye layer one, sew and tie a pattern and then repeat this process several times layering many patterns and colors.  The part that made it so much fun was the unexpected and usually gorgeous outcome.  Although I planned the design and very carefully separated the various colors the final result was always a surprise and in my opinion an act of nature as much as it was a personal creation.  In that sense it reminded me of both a kaleidoscope and fractal geometry.  That is the visual result of a marriage of planned design and unforeseen consequences. But I find that it’s a good metaphor for my usual approach to life.

It seems to me that this is how life and creation really do unfold within the dimension of time.  Behind all of our plans there is an overriding fractal law that at first seems chaotic but is actually the matrix of all patterns and rhythms.  Lately I came to the realization that this special gift of surprise is what moves me artistically and in life.  Although both my life and art are inspired by the vision of a particular form there is always something beyond my own imagination that imposes a variation on the original theme. Frequently several variations come to mind and through my fingers before I sense that the design is complete for a particular project.  But I’m always aware of several other options that could have been. 

It’s true that we often impose our little intentions on something that is beyond our understanding such as dividing the heavenly bodies into constellations.  But might it also be that the greater patterning function of the universe works within us even if we are the small fry’s within the cosmic ocean.  True, it’s backwards, the small trying to design the great, but it’s also within the nature of all that is.

Perhaps we have a hard-wired desire to complete each design pattern and that each pattern in life is much like a phrase of music that will only be finished when a certain note is struck. The completion of a composition must end with a particular rhythm and tone that defines and fulfills its existence. Meaning itself seems to depend on certain sequences within time.  Even our life cycle has a pattern and rhythm.  For this reason I don’t believe that immortality could ever succeed.  That would destroy the very nature of life’s essence.  Without an end note, a frame, or the edge of the fabric there could be nothing that we define as life.  The beginning is defined by the ending.  Probably the universe itself and the Creator also have endings and beginnings and we as products, or more appropriately as holographic cells within the Big Body and its song and dance are one of those remote tips of an ongoing fractal phrase. Endings and beginnings are as much an aspect of creation as the endless universe that supports them.  What an amazing dance between something and nothing and it all depends on pattern and design. And pattern and design depend on nothing. Nothing at all! This is why I believe both the Theists and the Atheists are right.

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