Bare signs




Mathematics is full of signs which are often used as metaphors by non-mathematicians.My husband, for example, used to say: The distance from zero to one is bigger than that from one to two.I fully agreed with him, realising what he meant.However, I refrained from saying that was why he could not learn maths at school.But it would be a good thing if maths teachers realised that some children live in rich worlds and find it hard to strip down to  the bareness of mathematical signs and equations.

A student once told me she saw Zero with a  lot of tiny numbers floating around it  like butterflies which showed  possibly great insight into infinitesimals but which would not  aid her in learning Econometrics or any other such  nonsensical stuff hich was her  chosen destiny.

And the precision and clarity [up to  a point] of mathematics does not do well when applied to broader issues as a “friend” kindly pointed out to me before being very rudeNow we mathematicians criticise each other’s  methods but we are rarely rude as it does not aid the mind.And it’s in the mind we live.Which is not a good idea but maybe we went there as a safe place when life was too much to bear.

For life is much harder than Mathematics,as King Lear might have said.

Where wild flowers  grow, where butterflies float on

by-the-lily-pond-in-a-wood-brighter (1)
Art by Katherine 2014

The path on Arnside Knott came to the shore
Where river and sea  meet at my heart’s core
Where wild flowers  grow, where butterflies float on
The views of Lakeland Hills ,so ravishing

My heart was  only half alive till then
The land surpassed imagination
I was used to mills and dirty air
Despite the heather moors and hilltops bare

Later death came near on Langdale Pike
My fingertips were hurting,feet agape
Then my toe was back on a foothold
The shadow of the mountain huge and cold

Beauty,love and death, the opera calls
Singing as we walk the danger walls