Off the Wall, September 28, 2017

In all of the words in our vocabulary, I think there are a number of words that stand out alone from others. ‘Period’ is one of these words.

This may be a bit deep, but this is what my brain cells accumulated recently.

A line actually starts with a dot, sometimes very tiny, other times very big and bold.
When another such dot of the same size is coupled, we have the makings of what appears to be a line.

Now I must emphasize, all my conclusions are gathered and summarized through the power of my brain matter. At no time in this column today will I lean on Mr. Webster or the partners of Funk and Wagnall or Google, as far as that goes.

So here we are, two little dots are stood side by side. They don’t have to be put in one direction only but can be placed north, east, south or west or all the directions in between.

As the dots are added, the appearance of a line starts to take hold. Now one can say that what I actually stated with was a line speck and not a period. That’s a matter of opinion.

Proceeding on, if we take three little periods and flatten them out, what has been formatted is now a hyphen, but that’s really not my subject for today.

Recently in writing my fourth book, I used a series of periods in my table of contents. One period left alone in such a grouping may feel inadequate for it knows that others have to follow to make its importance complete. The last thing we want here is a period with an inferiority complex. Placed all together, they each knew they had a job to do and did so exquisitely.

So, here we have a dot that actually materialized into something – a line. Now that formatted dot that became some kind of line can be shaped into anything when thought upon.

As I see it, the alphabet all started with a small period developed into twenty-eight letters. It fascinates me that not only in this country but those across the world, each language is twisted into words that each individual understand. And to think, it all started with a little dot.

And no, I haven’t forgotten about the numerical system and all in the equations that are far out of my reach of understandings.

Let’s take a famous nursery rime – ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb.’ Somewhere in that ‘M’ is that little period that started the whole ball rolling. If one were to add additional words, we would read, ‘whose fleece was white as snow.’ Now we have a mark that began both the ‘M’ of the sentence and another period that ended the sentence. Can one see why I get off on words?

Loving art as I do, we all know that the period played into some of the greatest masterpieces of all times. The most wonderful thing about art, if done right can range from simplistic endeavors to abstract versions of thought. All art is created with the beginnings of one’s imagination followed by a series of colored dots. The artist may dab a wee bit of paint on his pallet to see if that has the desired tonal range. That dab will consist of a probable amount of sixty dots at a very minimum.

Lines, in all probability, don’t have to be straight. As long as these little periods are connected, some of the most interesting shapes have been curved in various directions to represent depictions, activities, and mechanical employments.

Think of the seeds inside a sunflower and how they stand out surrounded by the floral arrangement of the oblong yellow pedals circling them. In this sentence alone, there are so many places where the little periods germinated the thing that stands out. That in itself, at least to me, speaks volumes.

When I think back to the ‘period of creation’ of this world, actually we have no way to determine if the seas were begun by a drop of water resembling the size of a period or arrived all at once. Once again, I believe, the seas, galaxies and all that are in it came into being on a daily basis, not by explosiveness, pieces or in stages, but by sudden appearances.

And our beginnings began no bigger than a period, the size of a sperm, whatever size that was.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Philosophically, that’s it. Period!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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