Cambrian: Opinion

Looking into, out of and through the bubble

Boy in a bubble: Zachary Brooke enjoys an exhibit at the Sante Fe, N.M., Children's Museum in 2003.
Boy in a bubble: Zachary Brooke enjoys an exhibit at the Sante Fe, N.M., Children's Museum in 2003. Special to The Cambrian

I have always loved soap bubbles and kaleidoscopes. I am not sure why but they have always given me cause to pause and drift a bit on their colors and complexities, the simple way they bend light and bend with the wind.

I have a couple of gallons of bubble solution I mixed up — thankfully before the moratorium on useless water consumption was declared while the state shrivels up. With as little as Love of My Life and I consume on a daily basis, I’m sure I’ll get to make more. But, I digress.

You may guess I’ve long been a fan of color and texture, so what can be more satisfying than the perpetual variations viewed through a tube of glass and beads? Or, just as much fun, have you ever re-viewed your ho-hum existence through a teleidoscope (the same set-up, only without the bits and beads in the end)? It’s even more whacky to take the familiar and make it foreign.

I love this concept of reframing Main Street or your breakfast or your boyfriend’s face through the clear refractive lens. It’s one of those little lessons we need to be taught repeatedly: breathe, review, reframe, restore sanity to your universe. What a physical way to encourage us to do so! Very zen: be here in the moment, because it will change before you can even finish reading this sentence.

Then there is the whimsical soap bubble. Standing by the street’s edge with my giant wands (two sticks with a length of webbing circling between them), it’s easy to get lost in the challenge of getting one to take shape, to hold its own, to sail over the hedge into the neighbor’s yard. Such a silly simple thing. It makes me smile.

Oh, to be a globule of water and detergent, wobbling (in the case of the giant ones) in the breeze, getting pushed and pulled by the pressure, ever mindful of its need to maintain a constant surface tension to survive. Sound familiar?

Transparency. The clear, formed glass, the translucent rainbow, we can see right through them, yet we don’t see things the same. Playthings, yet such metaphors for life.

As transparent as one may be, as we wish others would be, the filter, the lens, the perspective we hold to the wind, to our eye, will still bias what we actually witness.

Of course, I don’t think about all this as I gleefully wave my arms through the breeze or pucker up to a little plastic ring and blow.

Or when I get lost in the amazing fractals frantically rearranging light and dark hues. But once in a while it certainly makes me go, “hey!”

But I do tend to look for the details in the day, the little lessons, the joys and, without fail, the beauty. Remember: breathe, review, reframe, restore balance. And playing helps, too. Just sayin’