Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Symmetry

noun: symmetry

1. the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis. “this series has a line of symmetry through its center”

I would venture that exact symmetry is static and not very interesting. To me, it’s the juxtaposition of similar things or balanced things that are in fact different that is most interesting. 

I think that Nature in balance is the highest example of beauty, and its type of symmetry is not architectural and mathematic except on a very cellular level. When you look at the big picture, that precision is subdued. When humans step in, they tend to force that uniformity in a way that often destroys Nature’s beauty. (If I had a photographic example of agricultural monocultures and row housing, I’d insert it here.)


Tomorrow is International Daughters’ Day. My three daughters are an example of symmetry in harmony, concordance and coordination. They undoubtedly share some exact cellular similarities, and in a macro view, you can spot both the resemblance and the difference in them. And they really get along well together. 

Enough structure and balance that is absolutely similar with a generous diversity that keeps the thing dynamic, not static – I think that’s a great model. For lots of things. 

Thanks to Patti for hosting this week’s challenge. Visit her post to see some beautiful architectural examples of symmetry. And happy International Daughters’ Day tomorrow!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry

Symmetry.  A very interesting concept.  Is it real or imagined?  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how consciousness operates, how we impose ideas, structures, and order on the world to make it more…manageable?  Less overwhelming?  I think of Alan Watts who proposed that the real world is “wiggly”.  More fluid, with less distinct boundaries than we tend to ascribe to it.  Still, I suppose there is a lot of seeming symmetry in nature. Botany identifies symmetry frequently, for example, in compound leaf structures which are often classified as symmetrical or alternating.  Do I have any photographs of a symmetrical leaf or flower?  No.  I don’t typically take architectural shots, either, and if I do, they’re off center on purpose.  I think that means I am looking for the harmony of imperfect, wiggly things….like the Yin and Yang.  That symbol seems symmetrical, but it’s really opposites in balance.  I like that.  Not that I don’t try to make things symmetrical in my life.  I have a very orderly, Western brain.  I’ve straightened pictures and lined up pillows compulsively for years.  But I’m trying to break out of that habit.   If I must impose symmetry in order to feel at peace, then I’m in for a lot of anxiety.  It makes more sense to accept the wiggly world as it is.  So here’s some man-made symmetry that I’ve photographed…imperfectly: