Inverted Vortices & Puzzling Phenomena

I realize that all of us living creatures are scientifically explainable up to a point. We are generally parts of the natural world and therefore part of what scientists study and attempt to suss out and, in some wonderful instances, they do manage to make great discoveries about just what we are and what makes us tick. But me, I don’t really get any of it.digital illustrationHow is it, for example, that I have all of the parts required for me to be athletic, and yet I have never become anything remotely like it despite any school-required or even occasionally, self-imposed, practices? I’ve seen incredible athleticism in people with far fewer obvious tools for the task, not to mention having a visibly smaller inventory of raw materials in the way of the commonly used senses—blind or hearing-impaired athletes, for example—or functional limbs: any Paralympic athlete could clearly trounce my trousers in a trice.

How come, with all of my commendable efforts at garnering a real school-based education and my various attempts as an autodidact, I’ve still got an ordinary intellect and not the mega brain I see in some who appear to have been born to create shade for my dim thoughts?

I say this not to complain but, surprisingly, because it impresses and even sometimes thrills me, this magical, miraculous existence that we have. It’s actually exciting to me to think that there is so much around me and about me that I can’t begin to explain or understand. It may drive me a little batty at times to realize, as I do increasingly with the passing of said time, how little I will or even can ever comprehend about who I am and how I fit into the universe, but then I catch one more glimpse of a star—human or celestial—and remember how fabulous, how inexplicably yet palpably rich, this life can be. And I am both humbled and exalted.digital illustration

30 thoughts on “Inverted Vortices & Puzzling Phenomena

  1. Great article thank you. Our life and the life around us is so complex and yet in other ways so simple. I will never know everything but what I do know and learn from this second on will thrill me although as ageing comes upon me I seem to have developed a hole somewhere as the more I learn the quicker it disappears through some vortex so I have come to the conclusion that I must enjoy the ah ah! moment and be satisfied that it won’t stay around.

    • Can you believe that at my great old age I’ve still never gotten to see a shooting star? But I give credit to the ‘lazy’ ones for the same effect on me! (After all, they’re kindred spirits in their laziness.) 😉

        • I think I might classify it as *renoid* myself. Kinda looks like a little kidney bean! But it’s another charming mathematical progression, to be sure.

      • Because the suffix -oid is of Greek origin, mathematicians have used the Greek word for ‘kidney’ in naming a kidney-like curve. At

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephroid

        you’ll see the nephroid, which is an epicycloid of two cusps (as opposed to the one cusp of the cardioid). I know that the math involved is of no great interest to you and most readers, but as an artist you may appreciate the simple way a nephroid can be outlined by drawing a bunch of circles. That’s explained in the linked article, in the section headed “…an envelope of circles.”

      • As always, I can count on you to know all this cool stuff. Of course I didn’t think anything of bashing up Greek and Latin together for my suggested naming, but then if I’d been smarter I’d’ve missed your follow-up offering, so I’m happy to sit back and enjoy the links and lessons! Thanks!!

    • Count—yay, math!—me among readers who also thought of the Spirograph, which I still have somewhere. It generates curves that are known as epicycloids and hypocycloids.Count—yay, math!—me among readers who also thought of the Spirograph, which I still have somewhere. It generates curves that are known as epicycloids and hypocycloids.

      • Yay! I know I can count on you to know the cool math stuff that I never do. 🙂 I shall, of course, enjoy reading up on epi- and hypocycloids. Now go and find your Spirograph. 😀

  2. I also thought of the spirograph! My childhood was not that happy, but there were a few things that were happy and the image and the Spirograph was one of them. Me in my room smiling. 🙂

  3. So true! I am often reminded of this whenever I go to a science museum and learn about how large the galaxy is and just how small we are. I also felt this way recently when I watched Gravity in theaters haha (good movie!)

  4. Great post Kathryn. It made me think that it has actually taken the diagnosis and subsequent managing of a chronic progressive illness to recognise that palpable richness. I spent my whole life perfectly physically healthy and would never dare to go near a horse. Last week I had my first riding lesson at a special centre for disabled riders. It was terrifying, amazing, freeing and sinply deeply emotional. I an going every week. 😊 you write such thought provoking pieces, I am so grateful I met you. Xx.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s