31 January 2007

Ennui Or Emotional Exhaustion?

My cousin left on Friday morning and I've plunged into the shallows of ennui, except that it may just be emotional exhaustion. My mother's funeral is over, her body is buried, and there's nothing urgent for me to do right now.

The Red Scarf Project is over for the year, my scarves are sent off, and there's nothing urgent for me to knit right now.

The books I'm reading are good, but not as compelling as the John Ringo books. There's nothing I'm dying to read.

And I'm 15,000-plus postings behind in AFCA! That's alt.fan.cecil-adams, a newsgroup on Usenet, that I recommend to all my clever, intelligent e-friends. Reading the postings there, like participating, will lead me out of this ennui. The intelligence, the curiosity, the friendship, the humor--all of them will speed my re-engagement with life.

As a sign of this re-engagement, I just started casting on a scarf made with blue India ribbon. Every knitted thing begins with a single stitch, usually a slip knot.

Now and then, as I knit, I think about topology and Knot Theory. People who study knots would define a knitted piece as one big knot. Even the simplest garter-stitch potholder is, as I understand it, more complex than they can handle. A lacy shawl would bring their tools to a standstill. Yet we knitters produce such complexity routinely, never worrying about theorem or axioms.

Of course knitters aren't special in doing complex things without concern. When we've gone on a cruise we've liked to sit up near the bow of the ship and watch the water solve the NaviƩr-Stokes equations in closed form, in three dimensions, in real time. That's vastly more than aerodynamicists or hydrodynamicists can do, even with best and fastest computers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mary:

I've just been reading your posts and sharing all you've been through the past couple of weeks.

Come back and post with us at afca when you're ready. We miss you.