Repetition as mantra

IMG_5670People ask about the role of repetition in my work.  Conceptually, it’s my desire to create wholes of small parts, the way nature grows itself—accretion, aggregation, building up, layering.  Maybe repetition appeals because it echoes the eternal rhythms of our body, the beating of our hearts, our breathing, our sleep-wake cycles. 

Perhaps this is why repeated images, forms and patterns, on a formal level, feel so natural to me, almost necessary.  Intrinsically, repetition might satisfy because it’s a pattern we perceive all around us—from the clustering of cells, to the layering of sediments, to waves and particles dancing the universe into being.

There’s also clarity and stillness that arise while repeating hand gestures.  Hour by hour, strand by strand, I mesh texture and time into my work.  Ever so slowly, the process slows my tempo. Repetition lulls me, like a mantra. It opens a gateway to kairos, the Greek for timelessness, the time zone where flow happens and the soul resides. Here’s where I lose track of chronos, the clock time that dominates our culture. 

Being suspended in kairos seems to infuse ordinary moments with meaning. It’s one thing to live in the moment; it’s quite another to “hold eternity in the palm of your hand” (William Blake).