Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Nature of Inspiration

The study of natural history reveals one over-arching theme that I find fascinating. Not one creature or element in nature is strictly one thing or another. A tree is not just a tree: a tree is both solid and liquid; hard and soft; rough and smooth. The more you study nature, the more complex it becomes. Every thing is an elaborate combination of opposites.

Consider the lowly mollusk. Icky snails. Slimy wormish creatures that live in a shell creeping slowly along the ocean floor. A basic life form that is everything at once: both rock hard and gelatinous; shiny smooth yet rough and sticky; vulnerable and also deadly; beautiful and ugly. A simple-brained creature that, in cross-section, reveals a structure that would require mathematical calculation to replicate. Complex but ultimately not. There is so much inspiration to be found in nature ~ in the world right outside the window. So much or none at all.

"In wildness is the preservation of the world" ~ Henry David Thoreau

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