July 29, 2017

In Pensées, Blaise Pascal writes, “We naturally believe ourselves far more capable of reaching the centre of things than of embracing their circumference.” I am always trying to get to the bottom of it, to arc my compass wide as it needs to go, so long as I’m still digging hard into that meaty middle point. Protractor to measure and manipulate the angles, graph paper keeps them all contained in boxes I would one day learn to break open. I was good at math, and I confess, a part of me misses the certainty of it: Two plus two equals four, until—my mathematician brother reminds me—you get into the theoretical stuff, and those neat and tidy equations go right out the window, and back you go to circling. Circling on paper that gives out when doused in water, blue lines bleeding your mess of calculations all over infinite space. How do you quantify it then? All those exponentials could never match my variables. I would never believe in simply orbiting, when I could be held by the bottom of gravity.

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