words on paper produce, at best, a faint glow, a reflection, cast by the living word but those words, on paper, can kindle a response in the soul, can become doors to infinity, to living words, experienced
when you set my heart free --- free from this and anti-this escaping binary compressions and bondage to narrow orbits choosing the third way that opens infinity the living path inviting me to flights without limit --- life rich illuminated overflowing unbounded bright with the light of countless suns constrained by love yet unlimited infinite freedom yet running in the paths of Your command --- other planets on which we were meant to live to create to unfold no longer traded for a few shekels for mere crusts of bread for enough is a feast that opens infinity in the light of other suns on other planets without number
At our fingertips, in the present, in the place we find quietness, we may find boundless inspiration for a rich, creative life. When this is focused and refined under the influence of our own uniqueness, our own particular genius, we find illumination and a deeply satisfying flow.
Far too often we surrender who we are in an effort to gather attention, when what we are seeking is connection with others, connection with a richly creative life. Human society has almost completely abandoned the cultivation of truly individual genius for the pursuit of attention. As a result we are infinitely poorer.
Yet this choice is completely under our control — we may refuse this lopsided bargain. We may instead choose an abundance that more than makes up for whatever loss of fame or fortune our choice entails. Those that turn away from that obsession, towards quietness and life, find a healing, restoring force, gently coaxing them back to playfulness, to a place of freedom, to originality and creativity.
Immersion in nature, connection to the life that surrounds us, communion with quietness that speaks and engages us with Infinity — here we find sustenance for a life that never loses freshness or originality.
Boldly choosing connection rather than attention, such a life does not sacrifice its own brilliant originality to the temptations of fame or fortune, nor does it hide from the face of fear. Instead, that life enriches everyone and everything it touches, and in so doing finds connection.
In a present quietness cultivated, we find inspiration for a rich, creative life.
I am building a website for the Analysis + Data Group that I am helping establish at WSU. I am trying something new, in order to communicate to potential student recruits much more than a usual mathematics website communicates. I want students who visit the website to begin to get a feel for how we think, who we are, even what it is like to think with us and learn with us. To do this I am partly using non-standard (for mathematics) photography: no mugshots allowed!
(A little about the group: there are five principal members — myself, Bala Krishnamoorthy, Haijun Li, Charles Moore, and Alex Panchenko — and about 12 Graduate Fellows in it — that number will firm up this fall. We will focus both on pure analysis and applications of insights from analysis to data problems.)
Here are a few of the photos I have already taken (or my son Levi has taken of me), that I will be using in the new website.
Alex Panchenko, who combines insights from nonlinear analysis and statistical physics in his work in analysis/applied analysis.
Chuck Moore, who works on problems in PDE and Harmonic Analysis.
KRV, about to explain 4.2.25 to Levi (and Obi).
This project has revived my interest in photography. As a result, I have also been doing some macro work, on my walks with Obi.
The last picture, of the aphid farm being tended by the ants, pushes the limits of the Samsung S-4 phone I have been using to get these pictures. So it has prompted me to get some new equipment. In that process I discovered Mathieu and Heather’s wonderful blog on mirrorless cameras and photography MiirrorLessons. They introduced me to the electronic photography magazine Inspired Eye which I also recommend without reservation. The two founding editors of the magazine — Olivier Duong and Don Springer — have precisely the right attitude/philosophy. That philosophy results in an environment that is rich and generous, a fact that is made abundantly clear once you read and experience the resulting publication. They get art, in a fundamental way. That might seem like a funny statement since the magazine is about photography, and mostly street photography at that. But I stand by what I said — they get art in a way that very few do.
And life is about art, be it creative work in mathematics, or the way one makes food, or the way we (can) relate to others, or how we think and write. While it doesn’t upset me any more, I still protest when people express the idea that mathematics is somehow a non-creative non-art. Those kinds of statements are my cue for very gentle, non-forceful illumination.
I will post a link to the new group website when it is released in a few weeks.
As indicated in the “About” page for this blog, I am using this blog as a place to put things I have written. As also noted there, though I have comments turned off, I welcome email conversations with anybody interested in respectful conversations. For that purpose, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org