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Thought #17

The sun will explode in a fury some day.
But probably not tomorrow. 
And the ritual of its waltz with the earth and the stars
Soothes me so. 

Twirl glorious fireball, twirl! 
Spin blue marble, spin! 
Twinkle diamond necklaces, twinkle! 
I know your ritual is temporary, but on your lifespan no less real than mine.

Sun stars planets Earth space wallpaper | 2560x1600 | 311535 | WallpaperUP

The Function Of Humility

Let t = 0 be the start of my life, t = T be the end of my life, and now() be this moment in time.

And let’s define four functions, anxiety ( a ), serenity ( s ), forgiveness ( f ) and laughter ( l ) such that

a(t) = \left\{ 	\begin{array}{ll} 		1  & \mbox{if I feel anxiety about being in control at time } t \\ 		0 & \mbox{otherwise} 	\end{array} \right. \\ \\ \\ s(t) = \left\{ 	\begin{array}{ll} 		1  & \mbox{if I feel serenity about the illusion of control at time } t \\ 		0 & \mbox{otherwise} 	\end{array} \right. \\ \\ \\ f(g, t) = \left\{ 	\begin{array}{ll} 		0 & t < now() \mbox{ and I can find forgiveness in my heart at time } now() \\ 		g & t \geq now() \mbox{ or I cannot find forgiveness in my heart at time } now() 	\end{array} \right. \\ \\ \\ l(g, t) = \left\{ 	\begin{array}{ll} 		0 & g < 0 \mbox{ and I allow myself to laugh at time } t \\ 		g & g \geq 0 \mbox{ or I cannot laugh at time } t 	\end{array} \right.

Then, while it is so painfully true that my moments of anxiety far surpass my glimmers of serenity

\displaystyle \sum_{t=0}^{now()} s(t) - a(t) < 0

As I write this poem I notice that I feel at peace

\displaystyle s(now()) - a(now()) = 1

And if I can allow myself to laugh, then it is provable for any instance of time t I can push anxiety away

\displaystyle l(s(t) - a(t), t) \geq 0

Therefore it is technically possible that with laughter the moments of serenity can surpass the moments of pain

\displaystyle \sum_{t=0}^{T} l(s(t) - a(t), t) > 0

But if, and only if, I can stay positive for long enough such that the rest of my life I accept there is no such thing as control.

\displaystyle \sum_{t=now()}^{T} l(s(t) - a(t), t) > \sum_{t=0}^{now()} l(s(t) - a(t), t)

This gives me hope that if I can find laughter in my heart, it’s possible to live a positive life.

Yet, I am now that at the point in time where in all probability my time remaining on this planet (T - now() < now() ) is shorter than the time I’ve spent. I am in the back half. Depending on the remaining length of my life T , even if I accept each day I cannot control anything, there is not enough remaining time to balance the scales with laughter alone. Maximizing \sum_{t=0}^{t=T} l(s(t) - a(t), t) is not enough. But then again, perhaps this is the wrong function to optimize. Instead let’s define the function humility ( h ) by combining laughter ( l ) and forgiveness ( f ) such that

\displaystyle h(t) = f(l(s(t) - a(t), t), t)

Then if I can find forgiveness in my heart right now()

\displaystyle h(t<now()) = 0 \implies \sum_{t=0}^{T} h(t) = \sum_{t=now()}^{T} h(t)

We find the past no longer matters, and given in this moment I feel at peace ( s(now()) - a(now()) = 1 ) then with laughter and true forgiveness, the future can be shown to be positive.

\displaystyle \sum_{t=0}^{T} h(t) > 0

What’s more, if I can laugh in the face of my anxieties, keep forgiveness in my heart, and recognize that control is but an illusion, as I approach the infinite I can become one with the divine.

\displaystyle \lim_{t\to\infty} \sum_{t=0}^{\infty} h(t) = 1

The proof is left as the exercise of my life.

The Beauty In Failing To Be Perfect

Nature pursues perfection.

Take the sunflower.

The angle between the flower’s seeds happens to be Φ, the golden ratio. Which is (1+√5)/2. Which is (1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/…), which is the most perfect irrationally number there is — the hardest to approximate with any rational number.

Each sunflower independently derives this relation and spreads the seeds in its face, striving to align with this universal perfection.

Now imagine a nature where all sunflowers succeeded – each identical to the next. Fields and fields of sunny perfection gazing back at you. No aberrations – no flaws.

Cold. Sterile.


But rejoice! Each seed fails, it’s own unique way, to achieve this ideal. A micron here, a millimeter there. Chaos tugs against the warriors reaching for their goal, moves them off their target, and in the battle another picture emerges.

One of warmth, of music, of contentedness, and of life.

Best Sunflower Fields in California for Pictures - Ask for Adventure

Or in other words, natural beauty comes from the maniacal desire to attain perfection; but not quite getting there.

All that matters is each day I try to lay my seed perfectly, accept the inevitable failure, and try, try again.

Thought #12

The truth is I don’t need to worry about moving forward;
time will do that for me.

Instead, I must learn to surf the tsunami of my life,
or float in the placid stillness of my soul,
or both,
as the tide inexorably brings me to the beaches of my death.

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The Ringmaster

“It’s all about the motions we make near the end of our rope,” said the Ringmaster as he sat on the hay bale, boots covered in sawdust, hands deftly weaving a new whip from the cord the rope maker just gave him.

“A flick of the wrist, the wind cracks, the end frays, and the punters gasp. A slice in the air, the lion bleeds, the whip hardens, and the roar stops. These are things you must master to survive in the ring.”

Gently coiling the whip, he stood, walked to where the acrobats stretched, and picked up a trapeze board. As he ran his rope through the metal hoops screwed to the plank I saw the whip was not a whip at all.

“A curve of your hand, a coil through a loop, a support that you hoist, and lovers can fly. A wrap with another, their rope that you twine, nets that you weave, and all can fall free. These are things you must master to thrive in the ring.”

Motioning to the men who were setting up the circus he untied the board, and took his rope over to where they worked. He effortlessly knotted his cord with theirs so when done I could see no joint, then walked in a large circle around the dirt field the men had covered with their tent, laying line as he went. He stopped near the end of his cycle and rather than close the loop, he laid down the end to form a doorway into the ring.

“The steps that you take, the rope that you lay, marks but the path to where you are. It is spent rope. Do not mourn it. It’s the motion you make near the end of the your rope that opens or closes what comes next. These are things you must master to understand the ring.”

Leaving the rope behind, he walked to the center of ring, put on his top hat and turned slowly to me.

“You asked how I became a ringmaster? Well, I will tell you. Each day I was handed rope I practiced. 

“Oh yes, some days in anger I whipped in a frenzy so the blood ran deep, and I was ashamed. Some days in fear I wove so tight there was no give in my grasp, and I was alone. Some days I stumbled and some days I danced. But each day I was handed rope, I practiced. Understand this and you will know almost all that is required to be a ringmaster.”

“Almost all?” I asked.

He smiled, wrinkles in his eyes, and whispered. “Look around. What would I be without this ring?

“The crowds would not come without this ring. The children would not laugh without this ring. The performers would not eat without this ring, I would be nothing without this ring.

“The last thing to understand is that there are no ringmasters. The ring we weave is the master, and we but serve through the motions we make near the end of our ropes.”

Thanks For Nothing

“How was your weekend,
What’d you do?”

The quiet evening.
“What’d you do?”

The walk together.
“What’d you do?”

The passing touch,
The fingers twined,
The gentle kiss,
The knowing smile.

The clothing folded,
The flowers tended,
The shared repast,
The hearts we mended.

“How was your weekend,
What’d you do?”

Thanks for nothing.

Not As It Appears

“I am who I appear to be,” said the man. “Only most of me does not appear.”

“I am who I appear to be,” said the god. “Only most of me is not apparent.”

“Ah,” said the man. “You and I are not so different.”

“Yes,” said the god. “And no.”

tip of the iceberg - Wiktionary

Not As Vanilla As It Seems

As I held her, she laughed.
Because I didn’t know whether she smelled of

or Vanilla.

And I laughed.
Because I knew whether we wander

English gardens,
or the hills of Provence,
or Aztec temple grounds together,

I think only of how she smells as I hold her.

How to Plant and Grow Vanilla Beans |