Astounded by all the Kissing in Math

Once again, I will start by saying I didn’t always love Math. I struggled with it, and couldn’t figure out how I would ever need it in a life of creative pursuit. Then I had children. Those children are creators in their own rights – with structure and form and spatial relationships. My kids build and design and Math is going to be something they will need on a daily basis in their lives as they unfold. I had to quickly learn to love it, so I could help them become all they want to be. I didn’t want them to struggle, so I delved in to learn the beauty of Math, and found myself quickly caught up in the romance of it.

 

Last night, my little Bean, my seven-year old, fell asleep with this book on his chest. It is filled with mathematical puzzles, geometric shapes, and some of the most poetic language about numbers I have ever encountered. It is a gift. It is set up in one page increments of inestimable beauty, like little devotions on number theory, full of reverence and awe and breathtaking revelations.

We kept finding the word Kiss in the descriptions of the solar system and the astronomical number theories behind the dances of the planets. Planets are said to kiss as they pass, the patterns the orbits create are referred to as harmonics and rhythmic kisses. He just thought of it as funny. I was on the point of tears.

There are metaphysical principles at play here, which are at once mysterious, haunting, and hiding in plain view.

I get that not everyone sees numbers on a page and understands that there is poetry, nuance and beauty swirling there simultaneously. I am just delighted that I found the way to appreciate numbers as more than objects to induce headaches. There are depths and reaches involved in the study of numbers that could take a lifetime to fully comprehend.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. cinnamonb says:

    Hello –

    I ran across your blog while searching for writing ideas. Your posts have intriguing titles, BTW.

    But I knew I would have to comment when I saw “Math” in your tag cloud. I’m a retired math prof and also — a poet! Of course I found this post’s title especially intriguing and that book sounds very cool. And the idea of the planets “kissing” – cosmic indeed. And good for you in your commitment to learning about Math to be of service to your children; and especially good for you that you came to appreciate it so much.

    Hope you get to read this.

    Like

    1. Liesl Garner says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I have become completely enamored with math and physics and all things geeky and brainiac. I’m old enough to no longer be embarrassed that I have a good mind, and finally ready to stretch it to its limits. Thank you again for your kind words.

      Like

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