Lichens are made up of two types of life forms: a symbiotic organism (fungus) plus a photosynthetic partner (green alga or cyanobacterium). The fungus part gets its nutrients from the air and rain, the photosynthetic one makes its own food with the sun’s help. Lichens have been used in making dyes and perfumes, as well as traditional medicines.
In the presence of environmental toxins, lichens perish, but when the air is clean, they thrive. So, their prevalence in the area was very good news. I took deep breaths and snapped my photos.
Stare at something long enough and you might start to see things that are not technically there. This phenomenon can be explained in several ways. One, is that our eyes are not perfect. Another, is that man lies (to others and to himself).
Here’s a third theory: what you see is inside of you.
The mandala has been used by various traditions as a conduit to enlightenment. Focus upon it, and let the magic begin. The basic form of most mandalas is a square with a circle inside of it.
The one pictured here is composed of five photographs. Can you identify the different layers? If you look at it long enough and have sufficient spiritual training, does your meditation of this mandala help you reach new, deeper levels of enlightenment?
“I don’t know, it looks like an ugly picture to me,” says the nonbeliever.
“You’re in it too,” I reply, which sends him into a tailspin.