This is for you; in gratitude.
May 1, 2021
It has been my longtime interest to understand algorithms. Strange that I find a comprehensible definition in Kate Wilhelmsās mystery, āDeath Qualified.ā Described by a mathematical whiz, Mike refers to irregular (non-linear) coastlines: āThose Mandelbrot images are derived from one of the simplest algorithms ever discoveredā¦they have fractal property ties; that is, they are selfsimilar, no matter what the scale is and they are infinite.ā (Google search: āA fractal is a pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales.ā)ā¦āFrom the simple comes the most complex. And that describes just about every natural object that existsā¦ What weāre learning is that under the most chaotic appearing systems, there is order and simplicity.ā
My mystically bent son-in-law showed me a fractal in my jade plant. At the tip of each stem one leaf faced north, one faced south, the other 2 east and west. The pattern was identical at the end of each stem. I see an algorithm as a mathematical formula to find patterns of connection, a sort of a Whereās Waldo hunt repeated since the world was born.
Sheila and I have book secrets. Sheās sending me undercover her review copy of Elizabeth Stroutās new novel, āOh William!ā (She knows my grandsonās name is William.) Iām sworn to secrecy as she doesnāt want her āBloomsbury Booksā employees to know Iām first in line to read it. A quick read then back to Sheila.
Life has speeded up and I was too tired to write. I liked the down time the pandemic offered and I need to hang on to some of that.
Lots of volatility in the market. Investors selling off due to fear of inflation and possibly higher taxes for some.
Facebookās oversight Board has voted to ban Trump for six more months. Heās also banned from Twitter. Lots of implications for social media and how theyāll handle those out to destroy democracy.
A delightful lunch with Alma, a car broker who helped me buy my car. She told me about an American manufacturing company, the sole American business creating a necessary microchip needed for all cars. Though the company makes other items, during the pandemic it stopped making the chip because the future was uncertain. Alma reported nobody could buy a new car because they were the only ones making the chip. āIf you go online and look at Honda dealerships, for example, there are fields of them sitting in the lots.ā She said it will take 6 months to produce the complicated chips but coming out of a pandemic, lock-downed people want new cars NOW.
Thank you, Senator Bernie Sanders: āThe GOP is an anti-democratic cult.ā
A new study estimates more than 900,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19.
Speaking with my Israeli-American cousin, Ziv, who spoke of recent optimism, mentioned that Netanyahu canāt put together a coalition and that his rival, Yair Lapid, has four weeks to form a government. Amazing news that the Arab Islamist party, Raam, has five seats in the Knesset. Ziv also said that in the last 10 years young people can opt out of the military. āIsrael had a huge army, but the economy could no longer support it,ā he said.
Now thereās a Texas law that allows citizens to carry guns without a permit!? South Carolina lawmakers vote to allow death by firing squad!? The world has stopped making sense.
My glowing friend, Marie, visited today. She lived 14 months in Maui because she was stuck there during the pandemic. Sheād cut her below-the-waist black hair and now has a short haircut framing her beautiful face. Occasional gray strands soften the look. As an Asian, she shared, āI didnāt feel alone there because most of the people look like me.ā
Fractal from my 5/14/21 column where Izzy and I were discussing which letter of the alphabet weād get rid of, this quote sent to me by poet Millicent Borges-Accardi. Itās from āAbigail Mackā by Christopher Gavin, printed in the Boston Globe. Ms. Mackās mother passed away from cancer in 2014 when she was 12 and she wants to get rid of the letter ās.ā āI hate the letter S. I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the S in parents isnāt going anywhere.ā
Happy Motherās Day. Iāve surrendered. The world is filled with mysterious mythologies, mysteries wider than our human wingspan can understand; thereās comfort in letting go.
Epilogue: Poet Ken Jones, Chichester, England: āRANDOM WALK// You will ask me/ where did this come from// and I will say,/ of course,/ that I have no idea// and that will be the/ truth/ today.// I set my soul/ on a random walk/ a lifetime ago/ and I washed up here// wrapped up/in these few words.ā