What is a Parabola?
A parabola is one of the most elegant forms in nature. Every path made by a thrown ball, every spout of water from a fountain, and every graceful arch of steel cables in a suspension bridge is a parabola.
The parabola represents the epitome of a quest. As stated in our first issue, it is “a curving line that sails outward and returns with a new expansion—and perhaps a new content, like the flung net of a Japanese fisherman.” It is the metaphorical journey to a particular point, and then back home, along a similar path perhaps, but in a different direction, after which the traveler is essentially, irrevocably changed.
Parabolas have an unusual and useful property: as in a satellite dish, all parallel beams of energy (e.g., light or radio waves) reflect on the parabola’s face and gather at one point. That point is called the focus. In a similar way, each issue of Parabola has its own focus: one of the timeless themes of human existence.
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