Sunday, April 3, 2011

Give me some straight lines.

Tom, the boy that I tutor, asked me recently (probably to distract me as I was looking for my red marker to underline all the mistakes he had done) why I didn't have a ruler in my pencil case and I responded because straight lines don't occur in nature.

Now I remember I read this sentence somewhere before but it didn't really break through from my subconsciousness up until then. It was an article about dance, about gestures and lines, I can't really recollect. But it got me thinking a lot lately, I thought about how new this discovery was to me and I tried to prove the author of the article wrong, sure that there must be some straight lines. And let's face it, that's not the reason I don't keep a ruler in my pencil case. I just lose my writing supplies notoriously (or they are stolen from me).

Anyway, since then I've been a careful observer. I watched world around me on my way home, I looked through  albums and I stopped once a few minutes while riding my bike.

The most obvious thing that comes to mind would be horizon. But if you look intently, you'll see that it's tilted, just as something weighed it down, so delicately we're almost unable to see this.
The surface of the sea is undulating, river's stream channel is more like a ribbon, and comparing ocean floor to a straight line would be just ridiculous (oh, believe me, I know what I'm saying here).
Icicles may seem polished, but they're definitely crooked. Plant stems are never straight, because leaves would have to be placed symmetrically and have the exact same weight to keep the balance. And even if sometimes culms of grass may seem straight they're so only because of wind's present whim.
Earth's orbit isn't a straight line neither, fortunately! What about sound or light? They're waves as well. Are the stripes on my cat's fur straight lines? Definitely not. (I sometimes even wonder if they aren't spots).
And what about us, humans? Is there anything really straight in us? We can't escape sin nor inconsistencies nor any other curliness, depends on how you look at it.

But it's just me, I have failed at finding straight lines in nature, maybe these do exist?

But if not, why do we want to draw straight lines? Why do we invent mathematical theorems to try to attain an ideally straight line when this line probably will never be 100 % perfect? Every result is charged with uncertainty, my physics teacher used to say and I like to reference it in a lot of situations.

And I'm not trying to rebel against straightness, that would be just silly. I'm pissed off at the walls in my house that were supposed to be straight too! But I'm glad because now I don't have to lose any single ruler that I buy. I just have a pretty crazy reason for not carrying it with me.

Song of the day: Henry's Plea - MaryBeth Shroeder

(I can't stop listening to Knightley Academy EP. Robyn is holding a pretty awesome contest, huh? I can't not get overly excited about that...)

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