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A sepia tone pencil drawing by June Pauline Zent 18×24″
Here is a concept that has fascinated many people for years and I will wager that you have thought about it even if you have never encountered the word. In biological terms it means two distinct organisms that survive only because each contributes a factor without which the other cannot live. Or, you can think about it as being a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more organisms.
Examples of Symbiosis are rampant in biological studies like the bacteria that proliferate in your stomach and intestines without which you cannot digest your food. You in turn provide a cosy environment for the bacteria to grow without which they cannot survive. Of course this is a beneficial sort of ” you scratch my back and I will scratch yours”
But think about it. This arrangement can be extended to include non organic or a combination of both.Consider the painting above: the guitar has no function without the hands to play it. Together they make beautiful music; apart they both languish and accomplish nothing. Does the painter require color, or pencil, or computer without which the image remains in the thoughts of the artist? I think so! Even the lowly coin has a front and a back. Can you make a coin without both? Yes ,you say if one is a blank. But isn’t the blank one the back? Both blank! Ok, but I think that you would find a way to distinguish between the two. Michelangelo said that the statue is already inside the stone; You just have to chip the excess away.
Is your head spinning yet? Mine has been for a long time just pondering this together yet separate concept. I’m sure that you can think of many examples. Share your thoughts with me!