Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the lovely Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. Today’s podcast and blog post talks about the usefulness of understanding patterns in the world around you. Also how people can use patterns to their fullest in life and in art. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…
People often don’t consider the utility of recognizing patterns around you and in the world in general. Or we don’t talk about it or acknowledge it much. I got thinking about it more in the past few weeks. I’ve noticed the summer turn into fall and the leaves changing. Pumpkin season. It’s always good to have knowledge of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season in your area. It’s especially useful to know this if you are trying to maintain a budget, this information is extremely useful. Like anything else, the seasons follow a pattern that is easy to recognize. Everyone can name the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, winter. So, we can also recognized that generally in season fruits and vegetables are fresher and in better price ranges at certain times of the year.
The fall is usually busy time of year at A & J PEI Treasures. In the fall we tend to do a lot of our year’s baking. When apples are fresher, we buy them and pie crusts. We try to get enough pie crusts for all our pie baking for the year. I’m not particularly talented in making pie crusts. I’ve know that since my early teens when my younger brother wanted to use one of my crusts as first base for a game of baseball. Fillings were fine. He was not wrong about the assessment of my crust making skills though. So, we buy them. Gluten free pies are rather expensive in the stores, but with fresh ingredients and store bought crusts, it’s still a savings. Since moving to the Island, we have discovered that I’m able to make pumpkin pie filling from fresh pumpkins which is a lot more work than from cans, but we do know what is in them. It’s not so much that it is hard as it is time consuming. It’s budget friendly and pretty tasty even if I do say so myself. Would be more so if you couldn’t use my own crusts as a weight. It is also farm friendly as we have to buy the pumpkin(s). This year, I was able to make 7 pumpkin pies from 2 pie pumpkins. They are slightly smaller than Halloween pumpkins but contain more flesh and less string. The seeds can be baked. So, extra benefit. But, for me to be able to plan things to work out, I have to recognize the time of year, the pattern of the seasons and know to watch for the pumpkins to start getting out.
I notice around April give or take, it starts getting nicer out. We are able to go on longer walks and I can take more photographs as the buds start to appear and the sun starts to go down later and later each day. This is when the most spectacular of our sunsets occur in the warming days of spring/summer. It is when the leaves start to sprout and flowers start to blossom. The world seems fresh and new again after the snow leaves. It is a fresh new start to a new season. It has many adventures and many days ahead to capture all the beauty nature holds.
Diana Gabaldon stated, “What underlies great science is what underlies great art, whether it is visual or written, and that is the ability to distinguish patterns out of chaos.” This is a fundamental process that is applicable to all art and life. We learn to recognize patterns and to respond to them. It is the first thing we do as children. We learn what behaviours are acceptable or unacceptable from watching whether we obtain approval for our action or not. Things that receive approval in some way are repeated. The earliest such interaction of patterns is when the baby first smiles and gurgles and the parents are excited and happy to see this. The child will interact happily and smile and gurgle. Sometimes, however, a pattern can be confusing to a young child. For example, when I was a toddler, I repeated a word that an Uncle said. It got a great reaction and laughter from my Uncle….not so much from my Mother. This learning lasted only so long as the visit. It was not rewarded thereafter. I won’t go into details, but you can see how sometimes patterns can be misjudged. It also explains how patterns need to be somewhat stable for children so that they understand specific patterns.
Though patterns are important, there are times when one needs to separate from the patterns…to see outside the patterns or to practice things outside of acceptable patterns. It is what makes the mystery or the thriller stand out. It is that which can capture the imagination and send one soaring to the heights of imaginary worlds. So, though patterns are essential, for the artist, it is just as essential to be able to move outside the accepted patterns. But how do you ensure that you are breaking out of patterns? Yes, by knowing what the accepted patterns are. Yet, as Thomas M. Disch observed, “Creativeness is finding patterns where none exist.” So, patterns are both imperative and something that, like rules are made to be broken at least from different perspectives.
There are also patterns which can create disharmony within a person or a group. The easiest example to understand this viewpoint is that they had found that more pervasive negative thinking is often common with people who suffer from depression. This does not suggest that it is entirely bad or good to have the odd negative thought. It is only bad when it affects one’s life to a greater negative degree. Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time but it is only a problem when it has a large effect on people’s lives. What it does show is that, when it becomes a salient pattern of acting on the world, it can cause disharmony within the person. One part of treatment for depression can be breaking this pattern. This can be part of the person’s healing. It is part of letting go of old patterns that allows a person to heal. This can also be part of treatment for addictions. It becomes evident that patterns are not all good nor are they all bad. Recognizing the patterns and realizing the ones that are adaptive and those that are not has the potential to be life changing.
As William Shakespeare (Hamlet) determined, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare saw the patterns and knew which patterns to break with and which to keep. He made the patterns the fabric of his plays. Many people operate on patterns. Sometimes the patterns are good for them, sometimes bad. For some people similar patterns can be adaptive and for others disastrous. It depends on the individual and the patterns and how they are manifested. It isn’t really a matter of patterns being good or bad, but more what we do with the patterns and if we use the patterns to their best effect. The art is in the discovery of whether we are using the pattern in an adaptive way or not. Deciding which patterns to keep and which to give up is necessary. Recognizing patterns is imperative to being able to decide whether it is a helpful pattern or not. Without recognizing patterns, we just float in an abys with nothing to steer our lives. Knowledge of patterns gives us a rudder so that we may sail the murky seas of everyday life and create art within our daily lives. Life is art and art is life. Living life is an art that we don’t have the luxury of ignoring.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
Just one more thing. I have one of my children’s e-books up for a 2021 TCK award Category is General Non-Fiction https://www.tckpublishing.com/2021-readers-choice-voting-page/. The Big Kids Magical Path to Colours in Nature (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093K2FN4M/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_GBTXKZW5EVAX2C92PCY1). If you have a moment, we could use some votes.
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