Saturday, February 19, 2005

".. And sο castΙes made of sand / faΙl intο the sea / .. eventuaΙly."

If all your ideas are working, then you're probably not getting enough ideas.
~ Jim AgΙer
  (as told to me by Lιnda Pattοn, after my fifth consecutive idea didn't work)

I suppose that the title of this blog is more fitting than I had originally thought.

Mathematics are frustrating, and in particular, analysis is frustrating. If anything, being a student of mathematics has made me more paranoid and uncertain than anything else. Your seemingly good ideas were flawed by the diagrams you drew or the impossible assumptions you've made. You second-guess and third-guess .. nth-guess the ideas that as a child, you would run to Mom to tell, in rushed and excited breaths.

Occasionally, there is that child-like delight. As with any discipline of thought or practice, what motivates me is that spark of an idea which may be the solution to your woes (well, here I meant mathematical woes, and your current problem, at that). When it fails, it's only a little more frustration atop a larger, ever-growing pile of cold-pressed fury .. but when it works .. (:

I feel like I'm on top of the world, and I can take on anyone and anything. I feel like leaping into the air and cheering, and the negative feelings go away for an instant. Maybe I'm not such a dummy after all, I suppose, Maybe there are ideas in my head after all .. good ideas!

Then you proceed with the idea and carry it through. The cycle of ups and downs continues.

Those failed ideas remind me of making sand castles, and getting angry every time the tide comes back and wipes those grainy turrets and gates away. I have a habit of fuming and sulking, I'm afraid, despite the fact that the sea is without cause, motivation, or memory.

It takes me a while to realize: well, there's still a lot of sand, left .. might as well make another one. But when I do and when my hands get dirty again, that last sand cast1e doesn't matter at all.

Wait 'til everyone gets a hold of this one, I think, as I grin and reach for the blue plastic shovel ..

I have another idea again. Maybe it will work, but maybe not. It can't hurt to try again.

Wish me luck!

ps. The title is a song lyric from "Castlεs Made of Saηd" by Jιmi Hendrιx. Great song, that.