Yesterday, when I was having some Christmas lunch at a sushi restaurant with my 16-year-old son Aaron, the conversation turned to fractals.
I’m curious. Do you know what a fractal is?
If you look up “fractal” on Wikipedia, this is the first thing you’ll find:
This article may be too technical for most readers to understand.
I don’t know the meaning of that little cleaning brush,* up there on the left. Is Wikipedia warning us that the “Fractal” article needs to be cleaned up and de-technicalized, so most people can understand it? Or is Wikipedia suggesting that readers should brush up on their knowledge of fractals, starting now? Or is that brush actually an example of a fractal?
Here’s what inspired the discussion of fractals yesterday: Aaron was folding paper, like so, while we were waiting for our food.
While he was folding, Aaron asked me if I knew what a fractal was.
Do you ever think you know something, until somebody asks you to explain it? As I tried to access my memory of fractals, I was imagining interesting, intricate patterns involving branching and lines getting smaller and smaller. I wasn’t sure that was correct, though.
Aaron told me that a fractal
- contains itself and
- is repetitive.
I wondered, to Aaron, if I were a fractal, because I can contain myself and I am sometimes repetitive. (If you don’t believe me, just read more of my blog posts.)
According to Aaron, I am not a fractal. I’m not sure what Wikipedia would say about this, since I stopped reading that article once I saw the cleaning brush.
I wondered, at the sushi restaurant,** if these things were fractals:
I then said something, to Aaron, that I’ve repeated before. That is, I mused out loud that the topic under discussion might be a bloggy one. To my surprise, Aaron expressed an opinion that “Fractal” WOULD make a good title for a post. I’ve never heard Aaron repeat something like that before, and I could hardly contain myself. So I knew I HAD to write a post, today, titled “Fractal.”
That brings us up to now.
This post now contains a dilemma, that my other blog posts** repeat and contain. How can I write a blog post which
- has the chosen title,
- contains myself (truly and authentically),
- repeats, in a contained way, enough of my previous insights, for continuity, and
- contains and repeats a worthwhile experience for my readers?
This post contains something else that repeats for me: Once my mind contains an awareness of something, I see it repeating, wherever and whenever I am.
That is, once I was aware of fractals yesterday, I saw them everywhere. When I went for a Christmas Day walk, I looked for and saw fractals:
Are those really fractals? What is your fractal impression?
When we visited my boyfriend Michael’s family** later in the day, were there fractals there?
I don’t think YouTube** contains any repeating song named “Fractal,” do you?
This was as close as I could get:
That’s “Fragile,” in a live performance** by Sting (who created that beautiful song) and Stevie Wonder (found here on YouTube).
Because I’m a psychotherapist AND a human being who has dealt with medical challenges my whole life, I contain more repeating knowledge and understanding about “Fragile” than I do about “Fractal.”
But that didn’t stop me from writing this today, did it?
Before I end this post — so I can, perhaps, go see fractals at cardiac rehab** and at work,** too — here’s another photo, which I just snapped:
Regular readers of my blog** might have expected that photo to contain and repeat one of my cats, Harley or Oscar:
I’d explain that photo, if I had time, but I’ve got to fractally and fragilely run. Any guesses why I included that photo here (and whether it contains fractals)? Any fractal-post-related questions?
* Apparently, your experience of this post may or may not contain one picture of a cleaning brush.
** Which may contain those who may or may not understand fractals, like me.