Preserving Patterns, Striving For Possibility


So much of life is made up of patterns. It is simply unavoidable. Even chaos has patterns if you study it long enough. Just ask Oklahoma-based meteorologists. The problem is that we tend to only see the patterns with which we have an affinity. And, affinity established, we are all too ready to settle into patterns. We become so embedded, in fact, that we forget about the possibilities.

Preserving the Pattern

Most of us tend to go through the day quite predictably. Our patterns of behavior guide us from Point A to Point B with minimal variation. Personally, I find myself caught between two worlds. In one, I just want to navigate the daily pattern as efficiently as possible so that I can get to a pattern I enjoy more. In the other, I look at the patterns I live and want to mix it up. But I don’t want to screw up the old, comfortable patterns in the process. I suppose we all crave a little inertia and a little motion in appropriate measures.

Possibility Lurks

If we take some time to study the patterns, we often find that there is some possibility hiding there. For example, in two decades of photography, it feels like I have a pattern in how I approach each genre I enjoy but do I have a definable style? I often think I am just outside of what I want to shoot and struggle to see the missing pieces. Throw my favorite images together, however, and a definite pattern appears. And, within that pattern, I see a style I like. I find specific elements that feel like “me”. Having identified the possibility hiding in the pattern, I can set out to create something that doesn’t just feel like “me”. It is.

Caught in Patterns of Possibility

Today, I feel like I am caught between the daily pattern and the possibilities I find in them. It is very comfortable to go through the day-to-day and look for chances to do something different for a bit. At the same time, I see possibilities of what I could be doing if only I made the effort. Rest assured, I am exploring some of those possibilities. At the same time, I am wrestling with the need to keep one hand on the patterns that led me there.

Somewhere in between is the answer. The patterns led me to the possibilities which will create a new pattern. Time will tell.

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