Infinite #WinterThoughts

What is time?

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Only propositions have sense; only in the nexus of a proposition does a name have meaning.

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), 3.3

We live surrounded by symbols. In this city, where you and I dream, love, walk and invent new causes to believe, infinity lives through their immortality.

The ghosts have names, some secrets, as yet unrevealed. They have left for us so many traces of their own dreams: Viktoria Hill, the Iron Cross, the Blue Angel, abandoned airfields, hideous ruins, and for each one we can discover them, silent, ever so present, braving the flow of time, as ice covering the Spree.

The lakes are now frozen, the air carries the scents of wood and coal fires, perhaps the lingering sounds of ancient wars. So, you and I, my love, we walk with the Dead, from time to time, listening to their calm voices, evoking infinity.

Picture: The season of fallen leaves. © 2017 Irina Urumova

 

X #AtoZAprilChallenge

nascent love like –

the new moon turns

its face away

Beginnings glow, and often fail to spark much longer. When we met we knew a few things, that experience was not measured in promiscuity, that love is for most of us a mirage, that looks and bodies change – over time – and “bien fol qui s’y fie”, as le bon Roi Henry reputedly said…

Our geometry evolved, by trial and error, infinite patience, a shared belief in waiting, respect, and, yes, tenderness, without which physical love declines into hell. Early on you decided you’d be on top, mostly. I respected your will to be in control, to decide when, in the end, to rely on this man to be what he claimed to be – nowhere to hide, the armour-less knight. One night we became what we are now: lovers for the long haul, interminable foreplay, exploring the far away shores. Once, I could have made the mistake of dreaming to tame the panther, and was saved by humour, and you showing me the way to understand myself, the feminine side of me.

For now, every time, we discover more, those secret paths that lead to new delights, the beautiful corners of ourselves we have not yet explored, in new geometries of body and soul…

mountain summit

how easily reached

by the autumn wind

– Johnny Baranski

Original Post

Trinken #AtoZAprilChallenge

bacchus

It is a threat, and a pleasure, perhaps the most pernicious risk to mankind since the Black Death… Yet, how could we give up those marvels of nature, human skills and poetic evocations? Just think: from the Old World to the New, Pino Grigio, Montbasillac, Saint-Emilion, Burgundy, Champagne, the marvellous Australians, the North-Californians, the Cahors, the sunshine from South-Africa, the smiling Italians, the harsh Spanish, without forgetting the gold and diamonds of South America… the inexhaustible riches of the grapes! And what is cooler than a glass of iced Grappa after a Mediterranean meal?

And how to drink with moderation? Perhaps it is a matter of location, of space, of atmosphere? The geometries of drinking are as varied as the colours of the rainbow.

Think: drinking alone, drinking at two, with many? At home, at the dinner table, in the lounge, in the bar? Champagne at breakfast, Pinot Noir at seduction time? And who seduces whom? The possibilities are infinite…

The Public Library of South Australia has a beautiful and well researched site on the subject: “Wine Literature of the World”… But what about writers and drinking? No shortage of amusing and frightening examples here, from Poe’s “What illness can be compared to alcohol?” to Hemingway’s “Paris was a moving Feast”, and many who sought inspiration, or absolution, in the bottle.

Yet at least one of the great religions of the world, Islam, bans the consumption of alcohol. And for good reasons: the series of disasters caused by alcohol abuse is endless, from horrific drink and drive dramas to domestic violence and costs to society… But is prohibition conceivable today?

Then there is the variety of beverages, the beers of Germany and Czech Land, Belgium, India, Italy, Alsace… and of course the grapes and grain alcohols: from the sumptuous Cognac and Armagnac to the wonders of Scotland, the sharp Schnapps and Vodkas, without forgetting Grappa and the Kentucky treasures.

And so, what of this blogger then? Smiling all the way to the cellar: learning to drink – with reason if not moderation – takes time and… love: a shared pleasure, and, yes, part of the geometry of living.

Original post

Image source

#FiveSentenceFiction: Bubbles

BubblesIn the silent house she sits, and thinks of you, writes a letter – which you will never receive.

Long ago you met, and you loved, in the silent house – and then you left.

Her, in her poor, wounded heart, she cannot leave – she lives in the bubbles of her memories, for you long forgotten.

Such is the law of love, a much asymmetrical feeling, one party always staying put, while the other floats away…

Away from the bubbles, gathering dust, and tears, in the silent house.

#AtoZChallenge2015: Orthogonal

Orthogonal projectionThe word orthogonal conjures up memories of wonderful maths classes, many years ago, as well as more obscure readings, much later, of absconse topological subjects. Geometry was one of the great pleasures of my youth: yes, we are all different!

I quote from: Barile, Margherita. “Orthogonal.” From MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource, created by Eric W. Weissteinhttp://mathworld.wolfram.com/Orthogonal.html

“In elementary geometry, orthogonal is the same as perpendicular. Two lines or curves are orthogonal if they are perpendicular at their point of intersection. Two vectors v and w of the real plane R^2 or the real space R^3 are orthogonal iff their dot product v·w=0. This condition has been exploited to define orthogonality in the more abstract context of the n-dimensional real space R^n.

More generally, two elements v and w of an inner product space E are called orthogonal if the inner product of v and w is 0. Two subspaces V and W of E are called orthogonal if every element of V is orthogonal to every element of W. The same definitions can be applied to any symmetric or differential k-form and to any Hermitian form.”

For those of my readers so inclined, Wikipedia has an interesting article on matrices!

“In linear algebra, an orthogonal matrix is a square matrix with real entries whose columns and rows are orthogonal unit vectors (i.e., orthonormal vectors), i.e.

Q^\mathrm{T} Q = Q Q^\mathrm{T} = I,

where I is the identity matrix.

This leads to the equivalent characterization: a matrix Q is orthogonal if its transpose is equal to its inverse:

Q^\mathrm{T}=Q^{-1}, \,

An orthogonal matrix Q is necessarily invertible (with inverse Q−1 = QT), unitary (Q−1 = Q*) and therefore normal (Q*Q = QQ*) in the reals. The determinant of any orthogonal matrix is either +1 or −1. As a linear transformation, an orthogonal matrix preserves the dot product of vectors, and therefore acts as an isometry of Euclidean space, such as a rotation or reflection. In other words, it is a unitary transformation.

The set of n × n orthogonal matrices forms a group O(n), known as the orthogonal group. The subgroup SO(n) consisting of orthogonal matrices with determinant +1 is called the special orthogonal group, and each of its elements is a special orthogonal matrix. As a linear transformation, every special orthogonal matrix acts as a rotation.

The complex analogue of an orthogonal matrix is a unitary matrix.”

Image: orthogonal projection at http://english.rejbrand.se/algosim/visualisation.asp?id=orthogonal_projection