I carelessly cut my finger while preparing lunch. For several days thereafter I found myself scrutinizing that finger under bright light in order to keep it clean and surgically redressed for healing. And in the process it occurred to me that the distinctively mapped form of my fingerprint evokes similar patterns seen elsewhere in nature.
I’ve seen them in the formative grain of new-sawn oak or a knotty pine board, stemming from the very concentric rings that enliven any tree. I’ve seen them in the pattern of water finding its drain, in the stone-thrown ripples on the surface of a pond, in the conforming ridges of a seashell.
I’ve seen them in radar depictions of isobaric pressures or a gathering storm, in the topographical contours of land elevations or sea depths. I’ve seen them in the illustrations of concentric arcs of light waves and sound waves, when I was…
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