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Friday, October 14, 2011

Tesselating

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Our days run on in mundane, ordinary echoes of each other.
But think of honey from the tessellations of a honeycomb.
Consider the patient migration of a turtle in his symmetrical coat of arms.
What warm energy pushes within facsimiles and repetitions?
And what do their tiled borderings make possible,
like the scales of a snake’s skin that enable him
to undulate like an S of smoke sideways across the grass?








Eaglehawk Neck in Tasmania
one of the rare natural tesselations on the earth's surface;
see what natural movement formed it here.
Photo wiki commons

Drawings of symmetry by M.C. Escher; more here.


31 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Hey, this is worthy of a Marianne Moore! And a great comfort and inspiration to any of us who are deceived into believing in the boredom of repetition. (Read Virginia Woolf's essays about the marvellously mundane.)

The Bug said...

I love the idea of our days creeping across the grass - the ordinary moving us forward.

I had a very vivid dream about you last night - you were giving me some advice. I'll email you about it :)

Grandmother said...

My favorite is the snakes. I've not seen this before. It's celtic and female and mesmerizing. Echos back to snake as a sacred female symbol before it was usurped and classified the source of evil by the clergy. The status of women has never recovered. This is a healing image.

Dutchbaby said...

The mathematical geek in me loves tessellations and Escher is the master of them all. My college friend David received an Escher rug when we were in Berkeley. When I visited him and his wife earlier this year, I saw that they now use the rug as a gorgeous divider between the bedrooms and the living area:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/godutchbaby/5625563831/in/set-72157626504621622

The Tasmanian image is incredible!

Arti said...

Fascinating images. Some of the most beautiful musical compositions were created from patterns... Bach comes to mind. I would not equate "mundaneness" with "tessellations" though. The former gives me the feeling of "routines" and "empty repetitions", while the latter involve intricate aesthetics. Thanks for this stimulating post, Ruth!

Oliag said...

It is reassuring to think of the repetition of days as meaningful as the busy, delicious work of the bees. A delightful poem Ruth!

A year ago I saw a M C Escher show at the New Britain museum in CT...It was mesmerizing!

hedgewitch said...

sigh--trying again for a typo-free comment:
As always, you pick the world up and look at it from a different angle before gently setting it down so we all can see that new never noticed quality. I don't often think of mundane as good, but it is indeed, part of the natural way life introduces the gradual accretions that make the whole. I love the images-esp the ship and the fish. That would make great wallpaper, but perhaps just a bit distracting. ;_)

amy@ Souldipper said...

Years ago, when I optimistically signed up for an art lesson, I had a miserable time with perspective. I suggested to my instructor that surely Escher was left to his own interpretations. If he wasn't, thank goodness he persisted.

Thanks for the intro to tesselations. And to Mr. Cash...

Brendan said...

Reminds me of the story of the Voyage of Bran, where the man in the boat seas just waves in monotonous rolling motion, while Mananann see it all from underneath, and sees a meadow in full summer. I think a joyous heart infuse life with vibrant swimming color. Also these images reminded me of the scrollwork found in early illuminated manuscript, a riot of of interweaving elements -- the imagination of the half-aquatic soul. Loved it. - Brendan

Shari Sunday said...

Thank you for opening my eyes to something beautiful. Beautiful images, beautiful words. I suspect I will now see tesselations everywhere!

John Stevens said...

This is a gem of a poem: perfectly formed and glittering with bright images. I especially love that concluding line and the carefully chosen point of emphasis. Just great!

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, I looked for an email address but I guess I will have to write this here. I feel so stupid. Your comment on my blog made me curious so I looked up your posts on Peter. I knew he had a band and played on a cruise ship but I had no idea how successful he was! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Cream? Bob Marley? And he just turned 29? Amazing! I listened to his music again and I love it. I have to go get ready for the birthday party tonight, but I had to set the record straight. Oh, and I commented on my blog about how both my children have had broken jaws. It has been so great to get to know you in the cyber world.

Everyday Goddess said...

I gave you one of my weekly Goddess Awards for this great post! Collect it if you like anytime.

In joy,
Elise

Ruth said...

Thanks for that, Robert!! Yes, Inge and I have been having many, many conversations about Woolf's views on things, though I have not read those essays. Maybe I should.

Ruth said...

Dana, don't you just wonder why certain people inhabit our dreams at particular times?

Ruth said...

Mary, snakes and witches and lots of good things and people were maligned by the clergy, it's sad. I like this snake image, too, its interconnectedness.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, I love that room divider with birds and fishes. What he manages to do with space and illusion gets me going too.

Ruth said...

Arti, I'm not surprised you don't equate tesselations with mundaneness, and neither do I. Patterns in all of life, including music as you say, are everywhere and we have a lot to learn from them.

I think what you allude to about Bach would make a fascinating Ripple Effects post, hint hint.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Oliag. That must have been wonderful. I would like to see some Escher drawings on a wall, not just here on my computer screen!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Hedge, and for the extra comment attempt. This post is a mantra for myself, as I have always been drawn to change, which is probably out of a desire to insert drama into the mundane. Yeah, I might get tired of wallpaper of any of these patterns, but in small doses (like my sidebar).

Ruth said...

Amy, I remember perspective in art class too.

But who is Mr. Cash ?

Ruth said...

Thanks, Brendan, what a good comment, full of images that amplify what is here.

Yes, a joyous and willing heart can infuse life into monotony. I had a woeful student come into my office this week complaining about how boring his freshman comp class is. He's a writer, and has been since he was about seven, and he wasn't finding anything useful in the class. I suggested he use the class to find material, to observe fellow students, the instructor, whatever. I also remember my mom's response to me if I said I was bored, which was something about it being my own responsibility.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Shari. But you know what? You found Peter's "play" myspace page, I think! They were goofing around, and all that info is fake. ;)

How amazing that your son and my son have the same birthday and that your kids also had broken jaws!

Ruth said...

Thank you and welcome, John! I appreciate your kind comments very much.

Ruth said...

Why thank you for that honor, Elise!

rosaria said...

Wow! Patterns of delight, all around us.

Marcie said...

Love the parallels of M.C. Escher's work here. Well seen!

Ginnie said...

You wouldn't believe how Astrid lays claim to this Dutch graphic artist as though he had been her own grandfather. Brilliant, Ruth. Brilliant.

Kanelstrand said...

Maybe our days are forming tessellations of momentary and yet eternal gusts of wind. Colorless and odorless and yet present.

And maybe from above we are just like the bees or the turtle. Or maybe not. How we perceive ourselves defines us. Day by day.

Loring Wirbel said...

It is ALL Escher and Mandelbrot, at all times.

amy@ Souldipper said...

Mr. Martin Cash - found him by clicking on your link for Eaglehawk, Tasmania. Seems Mr. Cash was not daunted by any tesselations in life.