Friday, September 19, 2014

On Parts and Sums

(image courtesy of

Now, more than ever, I cannot get numbers to give up their powers. They are an old foreign language, growing more incomprehensible with every year. It is not just the algebra from high school that is fading away. In fact, I think I am forgetting how to add.

This summer I began to try to learn to sing alto in church hymns. Music has been another great mystery to me. I know there are four parts, but unlike my husband who sings the soprano reallyreally flat to emulate another part, I know they are all there. But they lurk in muddy harmony, like wriggling water snakes just beyond grasp. I cannot find them unless someone plays, charms each snake, each alone.

These two inacessibles, music and numbers, humble me. Ah, I say.

Ah, I see. I have learned great empathy for people who cannot make words yield their secrets, either.

Words still woo me. I am not the ragged claws, scuttling.

But. But-- today is a broom and dustpan I am using to sweep into the corners of myself to gather enough of me to


LeAnne Hardy said...

Actually, Lorraine, music and math are pretty closely related so if you have trouble with one, you probably struggle with the other as well. How are you on foreign language learning? Another closely related area of the brain. A good thing God gifts us all in different ways.

SheWhoShouldNotBeNamed said...

I've heard it said that math, music and cooking are all just different dialects of the same language.
I speak them all a little, but not like a native.
Still trying to work out why there's such a correlation between the three.