Ever-Increasing Circles

Swan Dive

While walking over the bridge which takes the students from their halls of residences to the university campus, I snapped this almost fully-grown cygnet with its head dipped into the icy cold water. I didn’t notice it at the time, but once home I couldn’t help but see the ever-increasing circles radiating out from the swan’s head. It struck me that this is a good metaphor for all the actions we undertake, decisions that we make, everything we do in our day to day lives which have further-reaching effects than we could ever have imagined at the time. In this day and age when many of our interactions are carried out through the internet, the physical distance between bodies makes it easy to feel that we are all operating within our individual bubbles.

One of my favourite blogs, Icing, is celebrating it’s 1st birthday today. Over 670 posts, Gala has created a wonderful space which provides inspiration to so many. If you read some of the comments on her Birthday post you’ll see that, in actuality, the relatively simple act of writing up a post, and publishing it up on the world wide web for everyone and anyone to read, is an immensely powerful act which can affect the everyday lives of so many.

The truth is that no-one operates within a bubble, but by daring to blog, by daring to dip our beaks into this strange phenomenon that is Web 2.0 this fact becomes magnified several times over. We are the creators of our own ever-increasing circles.

What changes has your blog effected? How has blogging changed your experience of being in the world?


December 15, 2007. Inspiration.


  1. nicholas replied:

    I think it’s fascinating that you didn’t see the circles until you saw the photo, rather than the actual scene.

    My blogging has put me in touch with a great many people I would otherwise never have known existed, and among them, I fancy, are a hard core of real friends — whom I have never met!

  2. amypalko replied:

    In all honesty, Nicholas, I not only didn’t see the circles, but I was a bit peeved that the swan put it’s head in the water just as I was trying to take its photo!
    I think you are absolutely right about friendships being forged through blogging. For me, it was one of my blog’s most surprising gifts. I began blogging so as to have a space for the expression of my thoughts and ideas. The fact that I’ve made friends through it is a truly wonderful thing indeed!

  3. bobleckridge replied:

    Another great post Amy. Blogging has done two things for me especially – it’s unlocked my creativity and it’s made the world a whole lot smaller and more human – it’s a vehicle for expressing my ideas, sharing my thoughts and my photos. Putting your other hat on, (the post-grad one) I’d say it’s a new genre of narrative and you know how I feel about narrative – it’s how we create a sense of self, how we grasp and understand our experience of life – well, I’d say blogging has expanded and enhanced my narrative skills to help me develop both my self and my experience of living – good grief! Did I just say that? Yes I did!
    See what I mean?

  4. amypalko replied:

    I completely agree with you, Dad. I feel a lot more creative since I began the blog, but it also performs the role of facilitating my understanding of day to day life. When folk find out how much I do in a day, I’m often asked why I bother with the blog. I suppose they see it as a non-essential element in my already very busy life. But I can’t imagine giving up this outlet, as I genuinely think that it helps me make sense of things. In other words, it helps me to be me.

  5. nengaku replied:

    When I decided to live as a hermit I didn’t realize how much I would miss sharing my joy with other humans. My blog provides an excellent outlet for that and as a bonus I’ve met some wonderful people in far-flung places! And I’ve done it without having to leave my beloved hermitage 🙂
    I really really enjoy your photos!

  6. amypalko replied:

    Wow, Nengaku – You live as a hermit? I think I’ve only ever met one other person that decided to live that kind of solitary life, and that was Tom the Leopard Man on the isle of Skye. I would imagine that your blog and the blogosphere in general must be a great source of social interaction when you are so geographically isolated. I do hope you continue to visit virtually with me here! Oh, and thank you so much for your kind words about my photos. They really are so appreciated!

  7. BlogsWeLuv - Blog Reviews » Blog Archive » 10 Questions with Amy of Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] Link us to one post from your blog that best defines who you are. Ever-Increasing Circles. It’s a recent post in which I make a connection between a photo that I took and the effects of […]

  8. This Eclectic Life replied:

    This post most definitely defines you, Amy. The metaphor is sublime. And, like those ripples that you didn’t see until later, sometimes we don’t see the results of our actions until we step back and look at the big picture. I love this post.

  9. amypalko replied:

    Oh thank you, Shelly! I’ll tell you, it was no easy thing trying to choose a post which best defined the blog. I’m so pleased you like the metaphor, and I think you are absolutely right about not fully appreciating the effects our actions have on the bigger picture. This is one of the reasons why I think we all need to move forward with positive actions, no matter how small we may believe them to be at the time. Thanks again, Shelly 🙂

  10. I Am So Blessed « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] at the sun setting over Loch Lomond.  I’ve taken a lot of photos of swans, including this one, but I think this might be my absolutely […]

  11. Blogging Footsteps « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] head dipped into the loch and the ripples circling out from it.  I suggested then that that was a visual metaphor for our interactions in the blogosphere.  However, after reading Liz’s post about bridges, it got me wondering about whether […]

  12. Bloggers choice « Heroes Not Zombies replied:

    […] at it, Amy’s been nominated for three awards – photography, writing and parenting. Go visit her blog and see what you […]

  13. radha replied:

    everytime i click to submit a post (action that i do almost everyday for the 4 blogs i created alone and with friends, relatives) i feel like my words are starting to travel in the atmosphere and get connected with the rest of the world. I know it is true and actually i do not expect comments all the times, i just want to make sure they start their journey. Also this act of creativity, we do not know to which “circle” is going to reach over: it is a way for my personality to grow and get enriched day by day. Luv, r.

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