For many, mathematics offers interpretive links between a mind and the truths it seeks to know, the same role that a story plays in this poem -- "Story Water" -- by Jelaluddin Balkhi Rumi (1207 - 1273).
Story Water by Rumi
A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.
It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!
Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.
A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes some bread
to bring it.
Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.
The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that's blazing inside your presence.
Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what's hidden.
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.
"Story Water, " translated by Coleman Barks, is found in The Essential Rumi by Jelaluddin Rumi.
Continuing with the theme of mathematics as an interpretive link between the mind and external realities: a bit of humor concerning the roles and limitations of numbers may be found in a recent cartoon -- "Pain Rating" -- by Randall Munroe at his blog, xkcd.com.