December 29, 2014
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
Today on a Naval Academy tour with our great-nephew Jadon from Florida, he remarked how much he liked the symmetry of Bancroft Hall in the yard (as the Naval Academy campus is called.) A pair of equidistant facing cannons at the courtyard entrance and another balanced pair near the front door pointing outward. One side was a mirror of the other.
Before that, we had visited the Maryland State House where I had looked up at the dome and taken a photo, struck by the dome’s symmetry, not only in its architecture but also in the role that light played. I saw the past, the inside of the dome, and at the same time saw the present, today’s light reflecting inside. It was a beautiful balance and it reminded me of how symmetry is reflected all around us—human bodies, the brain, flowers, snowflakes. Life seems to seek balance: light and shadow, male and female, past and present, birth and death.
Epicurus, a philosopher from around 300 B.C., presented a symmetry argument concerning birth and death for those who fear death. They should think about where they were before they were born and consider a mirror of that for after death. Epicurus said that the “past infinity of pre-natal non-existence is like the future infinity of post-mortem non-existence.”
I continue my symmetry every day as I inhale and then exhale.
Today’s gift is symmetry.
Watch this fascinating three-minute conceptual video on symmetry:
You can read my other posts on this project here: