Years ago, it may have been as an elementary school librarian, I began to share what I called “secrets of the universe” that I had discovered with my students. And, it was with much delight that these children began began to see the world with new eyes. One of my first discoveries was that of the Fibonacci Sequence, a mathematical formula that predicts the spiral patterns in the whorls of a pineapple, a nautilus shell and a galaxy of stars. In fact, as you begin to look, you find this pattern everywhere, and I am always happy to find a new example. This swirl pattern serves also to illustrate the power of certrifugal force, or the sense that as we age we move further and further away from the familial/societal center. The patters hold true scientifically, mathematically, artistically, philosophically. God is nothing, if not constant. There is great beauty in this.
As a person inclined toward the arts, I had been aware that the human eye and mind were somehow programmed to respond to a certain aesthetic. The Greeks and Romans knew this in the building of their temples, and artists routinely map out their paintings geometrically to align or misalign themselves depending upon which schools they follow. The 3 to 4 ratio is universally observed to be where our balance of comfort and beauty lie, and this is why most canvasses begin their lives constructed in that proportion.
For reasons that are another story, I will tell you that I became a science major in college, even though my heart lay with the arts. As a result, I am a hybrid, of sorts, able to marry the two…seeing where they walk along in life holding hands. Or not. And one of those places is called Newton’s 3rd Law, “every action has an equal or opposite reaction.” Scientists will prove to you that if you push on a wall, the wall is pushing back on you at the same strength until you push harder and pop, there’s a hole. When you do the same thing with people, its anger-joy-fill in the blank karma. Punch someone and see what happens. In art we could equate it to the strength and proximity of color, or even positive-negative space, you get the idea.
But, I digress. Before I lose the few of you who have stuck with me thusfar, suffice it to say the mind of God is a beautiful thing. A multilayered thing full of wonder and metaphor for children of all ages–that’s me and you. No matter how much we know, or think we know, there will always be more to see. In all kinds of places. Just look. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a children’s book called “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt:
“It’s a wheel, Winnie. Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.” (12.6)
Another metaphor! This time, life is a wheel.