Friday, April 16, 2010

Why We Vacuum

We vacuum to keep from sliding into chaos. Or because company is coming. If I were a genius, I would invent "The Life Vacuum". You could run it around your mind, your body, or your soul, and voomp away all the things you don't like. I'm not quite there yet, but the sketch above is part of my blueprint for perfection. STEP 1: Do a doodle. STEP 2: Make a copy of doodle, then flop that copy (make a mirror image).

STEP 3: Copy that, flop it, and stick it all together. Voila! You have a "Star Doodle". You have symmetry. Remember when someone showed you how to fold a piece of paper a few times, and cut out little holes in it? When you unfolded the paper you had a snowflake!

Now, this is where it gets interesting to me. These "Star Doodles" of mine are just random la-la-la ink doodles with no thought as to what the heck I'm doing. When you make them into symmetrical images, you get lots of unexpected surprises and new shapes.

Some are happy and pleasant, and some are odd and unsettling. Maybe that's why they do the Rorschach tests. Your response can go any direction, you sort of trick your subconscious into being a "Chatty Cathy".

One finds symmetry in nature, as in crystals, zygotes, snowflakes, and the human anatomy (to a point). But in nature, there are slight imperfections which give us character, and help us realize that things don't have to be perfect.

Symmetry is fun to mess around with, but asymmetry seems more familiar. Too much symmetry looks alien. So be glad for those freckles. For that droopy eyelid. That one big toe. Forget vacuuming, throw your peanut shells on the floor. Perfection is an illusion. Let the dog do the vacuuming, it's more natural and creates a smaller carbon footprint.


Kat_RN said...

Love the doodles and the sentiment, now if I can only find a way to justify not ironing. Sigh.
Your posts always make me smile.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Kat. Well, you can't very well let the dog do the ironing.Or can you...? I thought it was so humid there that you never needed to iron.

Zuzana said...

Very refreshing post.;) I think my mind is so messy, no vacuum could clean it up.;)
Love your geometrical, symmetrical art.
Have a lovely weekend,

A mermaid in the attic said...

Our dog is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. We vacuum when the dog hair starts to behave like tumbleweeds across the family room floor. Well actually, my other half vacuums...somewhat erratically...because vacuuming gives me terrible sneezing attacks...really! A life vacuum would be wonderful...perhaps it could remove all those old phone numbers that I haven't needed for 20 years, or the periodic table which I haven't needed since I left school, and make room for the stuff I need to remember now?!

steven said...

richard i can see myself becoming happily immersed in this. symmetry has a grip on me that i can't trace back to anything in particular but it's so deep in the way i organize things spatially. then too i love the apparent chaos of the natural world. hmmmm. where nature abhors a vacuum! steven

Julia Kelly said...

Love these and thanks for the reminder that life is messy and asymetric- but that it is also interesting because of that!!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thank you Zuzanna. I think messy is good. After all God is messy, just look at the forest floor. Hope the volcano doesn't hinder your summer delights.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Mermaid, I had to laugh at your "tumbleweed" dog hairs. I know those well. As to the periodic table, well, you never know when you might need to check out the relative atomic mass of Californium.

Steven, that must be true. If you have a space, you fill it, no matter how big.

Julia, I agree that life is definitely much more interesting because of this mix or order and chaos. 'Course I would prefer to mediate the chaos a bit more.

ruthie said...

Richard. i love the idea of a life vacuum, book me in !! I love my freckles and am drawn to imperfection it is so much more interesting. I shall have to have a go at this doodle idea it looks great fun.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Ruthie, Yay! for freckles! I hope you have fun if you doodle around in the land of Symmetry. You have shared some awesome Celtic designs on your two amazing blogs. I am always inspired by the balance and weaving of line in Celtic imagery.