Look around, the world is full of patterns, isn’t it? Most things in nature have repeating features; pine cones, leaves, butterfly wings, even the waves in the ocean or the ripples in a pond. Music is mostly patterned with repeating measures and returns to an original idea (melody). Knots repeat and so do drum beats. Even we are patterned. Our habits and our personalities make us predictable; psychologists often talk of behavior patterns. Generally, we do the same things over and over.
I guess we like patterns. We never seem to tire of them. Just look at the things that we create: buildings and homes, pyramids, brick walls and patios, clothing and fabric, flower gardens and rock gardens. You would think that at some point patterns would begin to bore us. After all, who wants to see the same thing over and over? But there we go again, repeating.
A break in pattern is also interesting, however. And I think that we ought to pay more attention to ways that we might interrupt patterns. Asymmetry is an equally important element in life. It’s what makes some music yet more interesting and some people come alive. If you’re like me, you enjoy being surprised. I think it’s what I like so much about humor – that there’s a break in pattern, a “punch line,” a surprise.
Day 14 Guide
Today, try to identify all of the patterns around you. I think that you’ll be surprised at how many you find. Also, try to interrupt your own patterns of behavior, and do something a little different. Surprise someone today.
© 2005, Levi Hill