03 March 2009

Beauty in a kitchen sink

I just walked into the kitchen with a used coffee cup, on my way back here to the study to do some work. The washing up bowl, still containing the breakfast dishes, was full to the brim with water which reflected the silvery grey window light.

As I came in through the door, a single drop of water fell from the tap into the still bowl, setting up a single set of racing outward ripples.

It was a peculiarly beautiful moment. The concentric rings of racing ripples, in the fraction of a moment before reflection confused them, were both a deceptively simple sculpture of forces and an atavistic call across millennia to a time of lake dwelling.

I became a scientist (if that's what I am) from love of beauty. I became a photographer (if that's what I am) for the same reason. Both happened in my seventh year. Five decades on, a drop of water into a washing up bowl still draws a bow tight string from my heart in the here and now to that younger self.

What a wonderful world this is in which to be curious and open eyed.

1 comment:

Poor Pothecary said...

I always like the bubble rafts that sometimes form when the tap's dripping into a bowl with detergent; each splash being more or less identical, they create a succession of same-sized bubbles.
Unfortunately I haven't got a picture, and our new sink is visually less interesting: our old was by the window, so the water surface could be viewed at the angle to produce polarised light, hence some seriously nice colour effects through a Polaroid filter.