aftermath

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Archive for April 16th, 2002

elusive orthogonality

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i could not grasp how sets of statements could be orthogonal. simple axes in a 2-dimensional plane seemed accessible enough, although i wondered if even there my comprehension was too superficial to be of any value. i knew it would not be enough to merely memorize enough to dodge my way past a classroom. if i was to become th exmathematician i felt i should be, i would need to understand th heart and spirit of orthogonality

i tried telling my mother of my predicament. i found it impossible to get th full sentence out. frustrating and mocking me, my own tongue seemed intent on delivering instead statements that were orthogonal to those i meant to say. wayne stood nearby making fun of my repeated failures, his mimicry tinged with a sarcasm that suggested he found my despair pretentious. in ways that stung me to a severe torture, his own attitude seemed orthogonal to mine. yet although i could recognize this, i couldn’t make it mean anything

mom had at least grasped enough of th situation to know she needed to go have a conference with th math teacher. i sat stewing, using some trinkets to create a new bit of diversionary math without any immediate or obvious connection to orthogonality or number theory or anything else yet expressible, maybe half thinking to try to impose some isomorphic transform on it down th road a thought or two, but not just yet restricting it so. wayne grew curious and started trying to follow me with some trinkets of his own. not th least bit adept with his math, he did some things that showed he was not really getting it, like th worst of a chess blunder, but his own errors revealed to me in a flash of inspiration what it was i had been absent-mindedly creating. without th slightest bit of effort or thought, just moving on what i felt inside with th same distracted detachment that had guided th first modeling with th trinkets, i displayed an advanced part of th orthogonal system, shrugging him off like a fly that no longer annoyed me. yet i felt almost at tears: even in this new system that at yet had no describable connection to reality or other formal system, and even as i could mark out th rules of that system by moving instinctively through its orthogonal shadow, th ghost of orthogonality itself slipped away from me

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Written by macheide

16 April 2002 at 4:04 am

Posted in oneirra