And now for something completely different. While I’ve never participated in The Weekly Photo Challenge before, the theme “Geometry” this week spoke to me. This week’s challenge “is about the shapes and rhythms that make up the geometry of our world.” This week, I have found the normal shapes and rhythms of my world disrupted. In the midst of a major storm in the East and a bitter, divisive election, we buried my grandmother this week. She was 98, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it kind of was.
This week I have found myself almost longing for a bit of predictability, a return to normal patterns and rhythms. A rational ordered life; a practical science made up of points, lines and planes. I find myself searching for theorems that explain life and loss the way geometric formulas allow you to compute volume, surface and area.
Of course, contemporary geometry goes well beyond Euclidean principles, taking us into contemplation of multiple dimensions and space. This also fits with thoughts of life and death. Maybe I’ll think on that later. But in this week of turmoil and endings, I find comfort in what the early Greek mathematicians Euclid and Archimedes called γεωμετρία. Geometry.
I took this picture recently on the Greek island of Hydra. When I look at it, I can’t help feeling that the early Greek geometers were right: there is some order in the world and we can figure it out. And it is all going to turn out just fine.
For more entries to this week’s challenge: Geometry click here.