While I was in Atlanta last week I found myself looking down at the ground a lot, with new terrain I’m always afraid I’ll trip on an unexpected bump and I was afraid to look up at the buildings because people would think I was a tourist (turns out I gave myself away by calling it ‘Hot-lanta,’ like the small town jokers in Young Adult who refer to Minneapolis as the mini apple). Looking down turned out to be great though, I started to notice patterns in the sidewalk. Sidewalks aren’t the same everywhere, we walked in a neighborhood with big hexagonal tiles instead of rectangular cement, some driveways are brick, others downtown were that unmistakable chevron pattern (chevrons always make me think of friendship bracelets and gas stations). The houses seemed to have thin walls, which made them look naked, like houses in New England with their small windows that make it look like they’re squinting. Though the patterns of the sidewalk were familiar, they were not the same.
When I came back I started to look for other patterns that were similar in California and Georgia. I saw a lot of chevrons, stripes and bricks. These are the building blocks of a city. Cubes are made of lines which are made of dots, so really the most fundamental pattern is the polka dot. There’s been a lot of fog in the bay which seems to diffuse everything and break it up into it’s fundamental component; water droplets. This screen is made up of tiny pixels. Not to sound like a total stoner, but patterns are everywhere.
Especially in our behavior. A friend is trying to change the pattern of a dysfunctional relationship, another friend is trying to kick a habit, a pattern unchecked will continue forever.
How many repetitions of something does it take to make a pattern?
P.S. The Simon and Garfunkel song Patterns has been stuck in my head all week, well the entire Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Album. Classic.