Love & Loss

“Real tragedies don’t need to be redeemed, they need to be remembered.”

“There are times when sorrow seems to be the only truth.”
-Shannon Leone Fowler, Traveling With Ghosts

note: The quotations are taken from the book, Traveling With Ghosts:A Memoir of Love and Loss by Shannon Leone Fowler, a book I just finished reading.

hiking a switchback

How do you approach tranquility,
everything is crumbling around you?
Forest and streams are full of resources.
Behind boulders
you will find failures of absolutes.
You will walk in absence of sounds
darkness not filled with hallucinations
“plod on” is a common virtue
stamina of will, be calm,
you are not alone.

When sky closes its windows
you are a frightened soul sobbing into sleep
feel insignificant, tamed and fireless,
drifting into fairytales.

Then you travel and don’t see ghosts
but landscapes and mountains
with indescribable shapes and colors,
walkers singing many songs and stories
the world, a cauldron, sharing a common bond.

Memory sometimes is like a heard conversation
you wonder if it’s real
or like eating watermelon
sweet and mouth-watering.

writing memoir
leapfrogging upwards and downwards
stopping for ice cream

You can start writing a letter
to a lost friend
like stroking the guitar strings
singing a praise or prayer,

like photo-shooting with a stranger
from one street to the next
not knowing if you will have
chicken dumplings or caviar and oysters

You will be all caring
composing a quilt of your past
the present is a daily memoir
how you live, wander and wonder
not tied like a lovely bouquet.

Fractals

“A memoir is a lesson in humility… The Great Depression dominated the earliest world that i recall…My survival was continually threatened, but my dreams ran free and seeded my future.

…When I turned thirty-five, I questioned my life. Had I, in my dreams of leaving my mark on science, really ‘missed the boat.’ I am keenly aware that this fear led me to reinvent myself surprisingly late in life, when I did my best-known work…

But events proceeded differently, I was expelled to resume my wandering intellectual life…

What has attracted me to problems that science either had never touched or long left aside-continually making me feel like a fossil? perhaps a deficit in regular formal education. My adolescence during wartime occupation of France was illuminated by obsolete books, ancient problems long abandoned without solution, and timeless interrogations. The form of geometry I increasingly favored is the oldest, most concrete, and most inclusive, specifically empowered by the eye and helped by the hand and, today, also by the computer.”

excerpts from: The Fractalist, A Memoir of a Scientific Maverick by Benoit Mandelbroit.

Hokusai’s Great Wave, some of Kandinsky’s paintings, and Claude Lorrain’s landscapes are examples of fractals. Some music composers use the concept of fractals in their compositions  wrote Mandelbrot.

I finished reading The Fractalist today (307 pages) today.

“Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules…repeated without end.”-Benoit Mandelbrot