Saturday, September 18, 2010


In high-school, math was my nemesis. I could not understand the attraction to memorizing formulas that have no immediate application to everyday life. However, as I grow older, I'm seeing the benefit of those formulas and that logical process of thinking in every area of my life. I was thinking about it the other day and realized that, wow, math is a glorious reflection of God. He is a God of order, not of chaos. The more I thought about it, the more the dots started connecting in my mind. Math is beautiful.

For instance, ferns are a great illustration of symmetry as seen in nature. Ferns are soft, lovely and make for really nice ground cover. Yet, look at them closely and what do you see?

Symmetry, proportionality, balance. Yet thriving with life and springing forth in verdant beauty.

Another nature example: ripples in a lake. You can't tell me that order is not beautiful.

And an example of God's creation in the hands of man: Music.

Music is simply math. Rhythm is created by allotting a certain number of time to each note/pitch. Harmony is created by symmetry of relationship between notes. Even phrasing and musical expression must be balanced and in good order. If a performer takes too much liberty with a song, slowing and speeding up so that the original rhythm is barely discernible, then it will not be pleasing to the ear, and the audience will get bored. An interpretation that is beautiful will consist of a balance between the written notes, and the expression of the performer. A balance between silence and sound. A balance between loud and soft. Music is ordered and centered around formulas, and yet it is one of God's most precious and beautiful gifts to mankind.

May math as beauty be recognized! Unfortunately, even though I am now aware of this relationship,  I am not any better at math. But I do appreciate it more. I no longer discount it as boring drills made use of to train our minds to think logically.  I now enjoy the process of organization and symmetry, as I see it with all it's wondrous every-day glory around me.

Listening: Loud Pipes ~ Ratatat

PS As I'm in the midst of a very heavy semester, posts may be quite infrequent. Just a heads up for any readers, if you're out there somewhere. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"There is a bit of blue sky...Let us chase it!"

The sky is sorely unappreciated. Have you ever looked up at the sky and thought about it's amazing variety? It provides us with not only one, but two all-natural art displays every single day. The sun rises and sets, book-ending the blue-day, in an ever-morphing canvas of colors. Granted, in the country it is most easy to fully grasp these glories, but in the city and suburbs, they are just as accessible, if sought.

And it is not only the beginning and end of the day that are gorgeous. Those are just the well-known and oft depicted times of beauty. There is also the backdrop of a blanket of sparkles every night. And don't forget the irresistibility of a bright baby blue scattered with cotton puffs. Even the drab grey of rain can be attractive. And then there is the rare purpley-green of a tornado watch, that is both exhilarating and frightening.

It's almost as if it has a personality all it's own. It can be foreboding, oppressive, cheery, encouraging, breathtaking, calm, troubled, even pensive. These traits easily rub off. There have been many times when I wake up, get dressed etc., all in the same routine feeling somewhat off. But upon going outside and seeing a bright, sunny sky, I can't help but smile to myself as the clouds chase each other.  Similarly, if I walk out onto a rainy day and see the sky grey and dismal, I easily slip into a thoughtful reverie.

So let us chase the sky, just as Margaret and Marianne Dashwood in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Let's pause, and look out of the window for a second, and just think of God's infinite creativity. He not only made the sky functional (water cycle, atmospheric protection from outer space etc.), but he also made it a never-ending giver of beauty.

The every-day blue, pretty in every way.

The troubled look of rain yet to come.

The calm tranquillity of day's end.

The red stare of an intense setting sun.

Sunny with clouds. Perfect for cloud-gazing...almost looks like a map of the world.

Shot through with sunny rays.


Sublime sunrise.

How can you not smile?

Fighting to stay clear.

Almost edible.

Bright and pure blue.

A masterpiece of the Creator.

True Twilight. Forget vampires.

Golden effect.

Listening: The Wailin' Jennys ~ Long Time Traveller

"They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works"
Psalm 145:5

Friday, July 30, 2010

End of Summer: Leaves, Rain and a fresh new look.

When one is moving into a new apartment, new town and starting a new routine, it could be either the best or the worst time to start a blog. As of my first post, I prefer to think the former. After reading several blogs, and being both inspired and cheered by them, I decided to add to the cheer. Why not reflect on the glory of the world around us?

The purpose of this blog is to serve as an outlet for the writer's overflowing joy in creation that sometimes other people misunderstand. When surrounded by the somewhat annoying short-timed traffic lights of Brooklyn, it is quite enjoyable to cast a fleeting glance up at the sky and suddenly realize that within the past minute, the creator of the world decided the city's background should be made up of pink and golden hues, interspersed with one another. 

My mother has been a very good teacher on the subject of frugality. The question often asked upon a purchase will be: "But honey, do you need it?". This is often a very necessary question to ask, especially when one considers a sparkly Christmas snow-globe and yet already possesses three such items. But on the subject of beauty, it is my opinion that one can never appreciate enough. 

As one author so aptly puts it through the character of the Bishop of Digne:

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful. Perhaps more so."
~ Les Miserables Victor Hugo

So here's to all the little things that make life beautiful. Little things that most people will just rush by on their way to work, or when they're lost in their list of To-Dos and Must-Haves. 

I will leave you with three delicacies. The first two I attribute to the majestic creativity of our good Lord. The third is a quaint piece of art by Seraphine de Senlis. 

This is a poor imitation of one little moment I had one day last fall 
that I think I might remember all my life. 
I was jogging around the block one day on a dog-poop-laden sidewalk. 
I got tired of looking down. 
As I turned my head up and paused for breath, the glaring sun hid behind one tiny red leaf. 
The leaf was cherry red with pointy tips. 
The sun was now a 
red pom-pom cheering me on my run. 

It was late. 
I had missed the bus and had now waited for another in the pouring rain for half an hour.
As I cried in frustration from a very long day that was turning into a very long night, I looked down at my soaked shoes. It was not the shoes, but the puddle just off the corner that caught my eye. 
The fading lamplight cast a golden shimmer all over the swamped street. 
What made it all the more believable was the droplets that glittered and glimmered all they could.
I started to enjoy the rain as my mind happily played with the idea of the street being 
swamped in gold. 

Untitled-Seraphine de Senlis
Watching foreign movies can be very invigorating. 
French movies especially are refreshing, because they do not hand you everything on a silver platter. They don't explain every detail they want you to pick up on. Rather they let you figure some things out for yourself, and have your brain do a little exercise.
Another reason why I like foreign films is that one's sense of sight is somewhat heightened by the inability to comprehend what you hear. 
Thus, watching a french movie about an artist was ideal.
Who would've ever imagined a basket of fruit looking like this one?
The abundance reminds me of Thanksgiving.
The black basket seems to be trying to contain it, but failing utterly. 
Sometimes I feel like my brain is the fruit and my body the basket.
My brain wants to accomplish all these grand schemes, but I only have
a basket of a body. 

Listening to: Debussy~La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin~Walter Gieseking