Forgotten Art: Giuliana – Dusk 3

A reply to: A letter from Dusk

Hi, Dusk!

Your letter made me feel sad and happy. Happy because you think I’m a good pen pal! 🙂

And sad because you miss your mom. How come she’s not with you? Does she know where you are? When will you get to go home and see her?

I like the dancing with the lampshade helmet part! You’re funny!

dusk301

Right now my favorite thing to do is to play chess with Dad. That’s because I am studying to be a mathematician and Dad says mathematicians need to be good at solving problems, which is exactly what chess is.

Sometimes, I can see the stars. It’s hard to see them in the Art District because the buildings are taller than the sky (that’s why they call them “sky-scrapers,” my dad says), and also because it’s really bright here, even at night. The museum has lights on all the time.

But sometimes my dad takes to me to Spice District at night, and we walk out to look at stars.

dusk304

We see them shining over the bay and over the hills on the other side of the bay.

I told my dad what you said about the stars being one billion and ten billion years old. My dad said, “Yeah.” He knew this. He said they discover new stars all the time, and most of them are so far away that you can’t see them, even with a telescope.

I asked him how they discovered them if they couldn’t see them.

dusk307

He said, “Mathematics.”

He went on to talk about exploring through mathematics and how it lets you understand everything that is a mystery.

I think now that I want to be a mathematician because that’s the kind of explorer-hero that is in the world now. It’s like this day’s Perseus.

dusk305

So I’m doing lots of math.

I wonder if math can help to understand the mystery of where you are. I’m not good at math yet, except for additions, multiplication, division, subtraction, and square roots.

dusk303

I asked my dad how to get good at the math that solves mysteries.

He said, “Start by asking lots of questions.”

Here are some of the questions I’m asking:

What is time?

What does time have to do with a clock?

If I didn’t have a clock, would I still have time?

Do plants have time? (The answer is yes because they know when to have flowers and leaves and when the leaves should fall off and when to let go of new seeds and sprout into new plants.)

Does the ocean have time? (I think maybe yes because waves are like clock ticks, but then I think no because the ocean is endless and has been around forever. But my dad says, no, it hasn’t been around forever. Just a really long time.)

Is the tick-tick of my heart like the tick of a clock? But what about a digital clock that has electricity and not a tick? My mom says that the heart has electricity and it is electro-magnet-something-something that makes it beat. So, is time electric?

dusk306

What do you think, Dusk?

Oh! I changed the name of our club to “Now!” If you want, we can write it like this: NOW! Do you think that’s a good idea, or is it too shout-y?

I’m glad that even though you’re somewhere else we can still write to each other!

I hope you don’t miss your mom. That’s got to be the worst.

dusk302

Your buddy in addition-subtraction-multiplication-squareroots-and-questions!

–Tazer 1541z

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Whisper 2.24

whisbi22203

Dear me,

I feel I’ve never noticed how beautiful autumn is before! At home, it’s not so different from the other seasons–gray skies and rain. Here, we get enough rain that I don’t feel homesick, but we also get sun that sparkles the ground in gold light.

I’ve been watching the chipmunks and squirrels. We have so many now! More than were here in Mom’s day. They chase each other over the lawn.

One squirrel grabbed a twig and began doing gymnastics with it, and the more I laughed, the sillier he got!

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Since Shannon and I reached our sort of understanding, I’ve been feeling peaceful. Settled. All my doubts and questions have dissipated, and I can concentrate more on my studies.

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Funny thing is, I actually don’t need to concentrate on phys ed. It just comes naturally to me. So I’ve been reading the chapters in my art history book that I skipped last time. It’s fascinating stuff, and surprisingly, a lot of it seems to intersect with phys ed. For example, in art, the Fibonacci sequence forms the essence of Classical composition. And, in phys ed, we find this same sequence is repeated throughout the human body.

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It’s fascinating to me! How is it that something can be at the core of both of these disciplines? And would I find it in music, too? (Answer: yes.) But what about technology?

I asked one of my dorm-mates, who’s a tech major and one of the biggest geeks I know.

“I live for Fibonacci!” He said.”It’s for recursion. It gives a base case then allows a program to make repeated calls to a method to solve the problem.”

“Do you think there’s something mystical about it?” I asked him. I’m starting to think there is.

“Oh, no!” He replied. “It is no more mystical than the human mind! It is something we invent. Outside of us, and our ceaseless quest for patterns, it doesn’t exist.”

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I’m not so sure.  I asked Kenyon about it. He didn’t know what the Fibonacci was, but as I explained that it’s a sequence that shows exponential growth over time, he thought for a bit, and then he said that, in the creation of the universe, exponential growth was essential.

“That’s what allows creation to flower,” he said. “You need the exponential. So, yeah. I think it’s, like, integral.”

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I asked Melvin Moon.

“I use the Fibonacci all the time in computer graphics,” he said. He told me he even designs color palettes using the sequence.

“But what I’m getting at,” I asked him, “is whether it’s a human thing or more universal?”

“Does it matter?” he asked. “I mean, we’re part of the universe, right?”

whisbi22207

Melvin and I played a game of hopscotch on a hopscotch court designed with galactic patterns.

Melvin said, “Let’s play Fibonacci hopscotch.”

We hopped once, once, twice, three times, five times, eight.

“I’m out of court!” Melvin yelled.

“Keep going!” I encouraged him.

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It was the funnest game of hopscotch I’d ever played.

I watched the chipmunk run across the lawn. Of course! The Fibonacci sequence was first developed to predict the population growth of rabbits! It applies to little rodents, too. No wonder we have so many more here now than we did when Mom was here, when there was just one, then another one, then two, then three…

I looked at the pile of leaves that Kenyon had raked. The shape of the pile, the shape of each leaf, the gradation of color from one hue to the next, the various hues themselves. When I toss them, do they even fall in Fibonacci sequence?

whisbi22209

Miracles repeat–within us, without. Is it any wonder that we fall in love when the very universe is designed in mystery?

Keep wondering,

me

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