Once, a long time ago, I was a kid. A kid who couldn’t do math. And I was stupid for it. Stupid because I couldn’t make sense of strings of numbers and what they represented. One of the most destructive pains of my youth may have been because in a certain grade, in a certain school, I wasn’t taught by a math teacher. At the front of that math class stood a Math Monger.
Much has passed since those days in the classroom. I have since learned that so much of our writing comes from within in us and our most bitter experiences. Maybe some of it comes out as a form of revenge.
I don’t remember what time of day I had math. But I remember her icy stare, her mean, demeaning and abashing eyes. I’d sit there in the cold classroom with my math text book before me. The endless equations, long sentences of numbers on the page, shirked my understanding. In the Math Monger’s class, I was the subject of her specific form of numerical torture. Day after day, the creature would banish me to arithmetic hell, killing my confidence on the way.
Had I known I could defeat the Math Monger with the power of words, I may have been able to slice through her heart of numbers and stale unrelenting equations. Perhaps I would have found the powers within me to reduce her to an equation, slam my math book shut and throw it into the flames of arithmetic hell.
All that, is not important anymore. And the only reason I bring the illustration above, is to prove that anything can be overcome and that beauty can be produced when one mixes pain with imagination.
It’s just about the ratios. Oy.