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Patterns

Italian Holiday

Patterns

Lana Hawk

Patterns are everywhere. We learn to recognize them, solve them, and create them from an early age. We talk about patterns in everything from math and science to fashion and social media. Our news feeds are full of what is "trending", essentially tracking the patterns of our habits. The history of humans is a long list of patterns and the changes to those patterns over time. Patterns of movement, of diet, of language, and behavior. We love patterns.

There is some comfort to me in seeing and identifying patterns. Sort of like seeing a familiar face in a sea of unknowns. You can identify a pattern then all of a sudden there seems to be order. Things are in their place, in an orderly line up or sequence and it is visible and tangible. For someone who likes order and control, patterns bring a familiarity that is sometimes lost in an always changing world. Anyone else feel that way? I think that is why I often am drawn to patterns and repeating, crisp, clear lines. A little bit of order in a new place. My introverted self loves those glimpses of the familiar. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel. I can stroll for hours in a new place in complete silence and be perfectly content, but I always find the patterns. I am drawn to the patterns, both natural and man-made that create a rhythm to what I am seeing. 

Despite my love for visual patterns, patterns can also be destructive. Think of the saying "old habits die hard". Patterns, once they have their grip, are hard to discard and change. We get stuck in our ways because we have always done it this way or that way or because we can't break out of our vicious cycle of "normal". Sometimes to change a pattern you have to remove yourself from the normal. Break away from what you always do, where you always do it. Drink your coffee in a new place, make yourself turn off the tv, eat dinner at the table starting now, drive a different way to work, turn off the radio, don't stop at the mall on your way home, skip Starbucks drive through for a day, and the list goes on. Our days are often a never-ending list of patterns and habits. We get stuck in doing things the same way we always have and complain about our bad habits or normal existence. Despite the visually appeal and comforting nature of patterns, some are meant to be broken or changed or reinvented. Find a new pattern, make a new normal, and start now. Don't wait until New Years to make a cliche resolution that will disappear before February hits. Make a promise to yourself to make new habits and positive patterns and start now.

As I said above, I love finding patterns as we travel. Sidewalks, monuments, the symmetry of a fountain. They create a little order and draw your eye in to whatever beauty they are creating. As a photographer, it is the whole leading lines idea, but for me it's just a reminder of something constant and familiar. So I always search for them and make a point to capture them. Here are a few recent ones.