I grew up on a farm and spent my middle life in a small town and now live in a city. A sort of immigrant. A farm girl who became a professor. A balancing act.
Some years back, one of my math department colleagues posted on his office door a quote from George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) :
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists
in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends
on the unreasonable man.
At one time I much agreed with the Shaw quote. Now (perhaps because I am older or because I now live near to Washington, DC and contentious party politics) I am more admiring of balance than unreasonableness. Here is a lovely poem by Caroline Caddy about balance and numbers.
Equation by Caroline Caddy
that working through difficult equations
was like walking
in a pure and beautiful landscape –
the numbers glowing
like works of art.
And in the same crowded room
a woman I thought I didn’t like
was singing to herself –
talking and listening
but singing to herself too
with the logic of numbers
I liked her
as if she had balanced something
The corridors are long and pristine
but I’m not lost –
towards some minute
Caddy's poem is from Esperance (Fremantle Press, Australia, 2007).