This incident was so surprising and strange the day it happened in the late 1980’s.  I was having lunch in my car and had just picked up some pictures I had developed. Some pictures were of the pi model that stands inside the security gate where I worked, Boeing in Auburn, Washington, Fabrication Division.  I noticed several of the pictures had a flaw of some kind on them, the picture below is only one of them. To me, the flaw looked like a segment of ribbon,  a twist of colored streaks, white at the center. I wondered if it was caused by something on the model, or my camera or a reflection by the sun, but it was on several pictures in slightly different form and in different locations.  I put the pictures aside and picked up the book I’d been reading, which was the Re-Enchantment of the World, by Morris  Berman.  

 

I began reading where I’d left off on page 31, then turned the page to 32 and read it then looked at the diagram on that page.  It was a diagram of an experiment that Isaac Newton designed to separate white light into monochromatic rays. The next page contained the reverse of that experiment which resulted in the creation of ‘Iight at focal point is white’. The words reminded me of what I’d just looked at on my picture of the pi model, the twist of colored streaks that were white at the center!

(I will add some context for my assuming it was a section of ribbon twisted. The idea was dimly related, very dimly even then, to the moebius band with a 180 degree twist.  It’s like the figure 8, the infinity symbol which seemed to be everywhere then. I had been doing some strange things  with transparent iridescent ribbons. Laying them in snow, hanging them on trees, the image was on some books I’d read only because the image attracted me;  some objects  fascinated me at work: two neon colored transparent cube boxes a co-worker had on his desk… but all of this related further back in my life to how I’d first discovered the moebius band and its hidden forms when I was 9 years old, an impulse caused me to make one then the impulse told me to  cut it, twice around its length, so that I saw its hidden forms. I wondered what the use of such a thing could be. )

I was curious about the ‘flaw’ ‘on my pictures but when I read the two pages, 32 and 33, the idea emerged in my thought that page 31 in the book, where I’d begun to read, is the first two numbers of pi. And 32 is the year I was born. The thought emerged and I somewhat laughed, and thought very little more about the incident until other perfectly timed events  happen and I was reminded of a few incidents I had not noticed. (The Safety Secret link was one event that had forced me to recognize the utterly precise timing and remember  other incidents that I’d experienced but hadn’t thought about as ‘coincidences’  similarly precisely timed.)

Later I found older pictures of the pi model that had the twist of colored streaks, white at the center on them that I’d not noticed!  In that packet of pictures was a different scene of a garden I’d visited and another picture of a Jurassic like hill on Admiral Way in West Seattle that had the twist of colored streaks, white at the center on them.

 So I knew the flaw was not in my camera because I’d used different cameras.