Spinning

My last post mentioned the phrase “whirling dervishes”, it reminded me that I had written a “thought poem” using the same phrase.

Animation

As I move through life…
There are unmoving planted objects
Pirouetting counter clockwise on my right.

Those on my left turn the opposite.

Life’s passage is an endless stream of
Whirling dervishes.

A dervish is a Sufi mystic who performs a spinning dance as part of a religious practice. Try YouTube for an example. 

The poem was the result of a car ride on the freeway. I was being a little more careful than usual because it seemed that everyone was traveling at least 20 mph faster than the normal speed limit. 

Using my peripheral vision on my right side, I was alert for anyone passing me on the shoulder, and that’s when I noticed the tree turning. 

There was a tree planted near the shoulder, and when I passed, it appeared to me… that it turned. 

The technique is standard in animation, when the fixed, seated observer first sees the tree it is directly in front. The next few frames bring the tree closer, and at the same time the tree is rotated counter clockwise if it is on the right. As the tree comes abreast of the subject, you no longer see the front of the tree, you see the left side of the tree. The tree is turned.

Since you are fixed, and seated, the illusion is that you are moving towards the tree and passing to the left. The tree spins to create the illusion. 

Well, here I am in the car, fixed, seated, but the whole car is moving. It appears to me that the tree is coming closer and spinning, as I pass. That’s what it looks like! Whew!

Each tree came, each bush, every vertical object, spinning on its axis as I approached. When the freeway turned into a two lane road, I could see the trees on the opposite side were spinning as well, in the opposite direction. I got dizzy just driving through.

This was one of those moments, you cannot unsee what you have seen. I have to be careful even today, once I see them spinning they spin all the while I’m driving. It’s like a song riff stuck in your head. Can’t unhear it, can’t unsee it.

Now that I have explained the poem, perhaps you will see “the dance” the next time you drive. If so, I apologize, be safe!

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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One Response to Spinning

  1. Laura Park says:

    Wish I still drove….:)

    On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 1:18 PM, A Work Progressing wrote:

    > johndiestler posted: “My last post mentioned the phrase “whirling > dervishes”, it reminded me that I had written a “thought poem” using the > same phrase. Animation As I move through life… There are unmoving planted > objects Pirouetting counter clockwise on my right. Those on m” >

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