safety in numbers, they say, but
when i meander through the twisted forest of mathematics,
algebra, geometry, calculus trees looming over,
i get lost in the formulae
and a sense of deep foreboding creeps upon me
like so many millipedes
whose legs, if you count them,
equal 3 to the 8th power
divided by the square root of 81
added to half of 600
sure, math's not all difficult
there are good marks on my papers
but it's just not comforting
like piecing together a puzzle
of jagged metal
yeah, sometimes i dig it
thinking about infinity and Zeno's paradoxes
but that doesn't mean
there's any sense of security
i, a verbivore, find refuge
in the dictionary
letters come together and wrap around
and i've discovered:
phrases can make the softest cushions
and sentences, the sturdiest gates
sure, what i read can deliver bad news
there's some terrifying shit in books
but with warnings
yeah, dry volumes
can unforgivingly chronicle
and tell stories of cold machinery and death
but there's nothing like losing myself
in a good novel and
maybe, just, maybe, finding a bit of truth in the process
yeah, they say, safety in numbers
but i think, safety in words
| what is insane is how the two are startlingly dissimilar... i am reminded of this book by vonnegut (god rest his brilliant soul), he keeps popping up in my head when people talk about numbers and words. in one of his books ("hocus pocus"), he mentions, that if he wrote numbers with letters, the power of the number is lost or somewhat diminished; "1 000 000" is never written as "one million".|
it is strange to think that whenever an amount or any number in any form floats up from the pink pool of brain matter in our heads, in its purest form, we sort of get something intangible and mushy... mono-isms, duality, trinities etc... it just goes on and on and at the same time, a rigidity and truth. a number will always be its exact amount and no matter how many permutations grow from it, it will always be the same, in any language. its startling and scary at the same time. 1 will always be 1... and 2 plus 2 will always be 4.... ad infinitum. there is a calculatingly cold truth in mathematics. very cold.
with words it gets messier. it could mean something to someone, and be different to another person. and new words are born everyday.
the two are wholly different animals and the comparison thereof is not to be taken lightly. although i do think there is an inherent beauty in the two.
|| Posted on 2007-07-18 00:00:00 | by Pietro | [ Reply to This ] || i like this.|
somedays i wonder if there is really anything that provides safety any more.
but i like the spin you have taken on safety in numbers. i would never have thought about it that way unprompted. its quite nifty if i may say so.
and i like the way you twist and whirl mathematical formulae throughout this piece.
i know i never found safety in maths. i was always having to prove myself because the primary school i went to [aged 5-10] taught me how to sing in 15ish languages but they didnt teach me anything about math... so when i got to intermediate [aged 11-12] i was stuck in the lowest math class there was. it was so horrid because most of my class mates had very obvious and very severe learning disabilities. i knew there was nothing wrong with my ability to learn but rather i hadnt been given the opportunity. i worked so hard at math and by the end of those two years i found myself in the second highest math class of eight... id moved up 6.
then came high school. it took til 5th form them to start teaching me anything new. needless to say my 4th form year [age 14] was THE most boring year of my life lol. i sat there writing philosophical thoughts about life such as "boys like trucks so when i grow up im gonna be a truck" haha.
but i do remember one week of 4th form math where the teacher introduced me to Pythagoras... i have to say i worked more in that one week than i did the whole year. 347 pythagoras triangle equations i solved that week
yeah... i like words a whole lot more.
math is a bore i guess. all that work to catch up... all that believing that i sucked when really... how many times have i used pythagoras triangle theorem since leaving school...?
ill tell you... NONE!
and i like the way you are balanced in your review of words. some boring encyclopedic books do nothing for one with a love of words. i know the first time i discovered power in words [and incidentally poetry] was a very random and unplanned moment where i was panicking over an assignment i didnt realise i had to do and only had 3 days to do it... yes... id much rather be safe with words than numbers... for a million reasons [pun intended]
good work here
|| Posted on 2007-07-17 00:00:00 | by Someones Epiphany | [ Reply to This ] |