You’ve been searching for the proof
But underestimated the number of steps,
The delicacy of the diaphanous threads
Holding it all together.
You can't stand aloof;
This was never going to be as simple
As Pythagoras made it seem.
Some people see it right away
Like Knight to King three,
A Rorschach blot smeared across
The page which then becomes the thing
That they decide it must be.
For the rest of us, it must be calculated
Step by step by esoteric step.
We want answers.
We want to solve for x.
What is the equation
For the shading of the moon?
When I drop this rock
How long do I have
Until it cracks my foot?
What is the rate limiting step
In this fiery chemical reaction
That consumes my heart
And synthesizes your soul.
Easier to start with things we can count
And tally them all up.
Two and two is always four
And then you can add a million more
Get a few right, get on a roll.
Brute force computation,
It's the only way to keep score.
It starts out simple, arithmetic;
A pad, a pencil, crunch the numbers,
Carry the seven, remainder six.
But the deeper you delve it gets more complex.
You have to come up with new tricks.
Algebra where the variables are clingy and co-dependent.
Vectors veering within Cartesian planes.
Powers of ten, exponential change.
Or calculus which claims to conjure
A truth from approximations
Where close enough counts as finger tip touch.
The limit of this function
When two hearts approach
One always tacks toward love.
It keeps getting more complicated.
You have to multiply by your sadnesses
And factor out the common dooms.
Have at it.
See what it gets you.
Bleed your binomials and integrate
With respect to cherry blossom blooms.
Matrix theory in the context of matrimony.
Lose your son in a sine wave
Oscillating to the beat
Of your sine qua non sin.
But you can't stop, you're too far in.
Suddenly you’re asked the square root of a negative
And you’re stuck until you get creative
And conjure a world of imaginaries,
A realm beyond numbers,
Of orcs and dragons and faeries.
Measurables melting into abstractions.
Quantities as qualitative names.
Eons, manifolds, fathoms.
But one infinity is the same as four
And infinity squared is not a whit more.
Take your childhood hero and divide
By infinite loss and the answer is always zero.
How many infinities does it take to erase you?
And this brings us to the home stretch
Where we've run out of ruses.
Everything spirals down to this.
The linked logical end,
Back to where you began;
Before numbers, concepts or names.
When mom and dad were just the same.
A time before should or ought
When there was no- thing to see,
By no one even there
And never a place to be.
You have to put everything
You have above the line---
All the love, all that's whole
And try to divide by naught.
Give it a shot.
Everyone has to
At some point.
It comes down to this,
For every wandering soul.
Gnaw on your pencil
Gaze at the stars.
There is no answer.
There is no should or ought
Because the answer is not a number
Or a name or a song or a thing.
We have only words, approximate descriptors:
Undefined, indeterminate, the empty set.
But this was always the last step
Of the serpentine equation
That winds through a life.
It demands an answer
That isn't exactly something
Nor can it be written off as a nothing.
Every day it stares us in the face.
This is where it was headed all along.
It was here from the very first.
We know in our heart it can’t be solved
Just as we know the sun will rise
The rivers will flow and the grasses sway
Without being able to prove why.
But we, with our pencils and pens
And constants and theorems
Rise to try, once again
and then once again.
"Because the answer is not a number" I would have liked to try that one on my rigid, authoritarian statistics prof!
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