for the present one - my fondness for fractals:
- what they represent: something that repeats in cycles, again and again, but is never exactly the same. a symbol of the balance between change and continuity, if you like, or of growth;
- their connection to chaos theory (especially when understood outside its original sphere of application in mathematics/physics), which is one of my major interests;
- the fact that they can be found in nature in a variety of different forms (snowflakes, crystals, lightning, seaweed, land plants such as ferns or broccoli, to name just a couple);
- that trippy, slightly dizzying quality they have, or however one may choose to call this;
- their sheer complexity and intricate color combinations, which are beautiful in themselves;
- their being soothing and pleasant to look at.