As Neil Degrasse Tyson would gladly and outspokenly point out, the phrase “it’s always darkest before the dawn” is, in an astronomical sense, not true at all. The implied sentiment of course is that things seem at their worst just before day breaks and the savior swoops in, thwarting the enemy who was at the threshold of victory just before they could deal the final stroke, and all is again right with the world. I suspect that this is more a pop culture trope than anything else at this point. It makes good use of the old ideas of heroism and romanticism which were majorly formative in my youth. Unfortunately I know that the escape from the darkest of the darkness is not some brilliant light pouring over the mountains with Gandalf and the Roherim ready to charge in and bring with them the salvation of my Helm’s Deep. On the contrary the road out of this realm is a long slow trudge through the swamp of feelings of heartbreak and inadequacy. Of course one has to reach the deepest darkness before that slogg can begin in earnest. In a strange coincidence I found myself in that darkest place on literally the darkest day of the year ( in the northern hemisphere anyway). It was a profound grief that night and a grief that was made exponentally worse when the horrifying realization came in that the nondescript bottle of “wine” purchased was in fact red wine vinegar and that no sleep would be had….for a moment I was like “I mean it’s red wine vinegar, there has to be some red wine in there right? I could just drink some and see how it goes”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Thankfully the lengths to which the desperate shall go did not extend that far and I happened upon a really fitting song for my feelings. I normally don’t care much for poppy country fluff, but this one hit way too close to home to ignore.
The likes of Byron, Tolkien, Final Fantasy games and music, among other things, led me to believe John Lennon’s claim that all you need is love. I never really liked that song even if I subsribe to its philosophy. Plus I don’t care who the walrus was, if thinking that Paul was better is wrong, then I don’t want to be right 🙂 . The idea that if two people were truly in love then no force could separate them has always been a core concept within me. This most recent affair certainly proved otherwise and has left me to wonder that this notion of Love being all you need is a load of nonsense.
I suppose it’s not fair to call it nonsense. Like most ideas, the concepts of the romantics are neither right or wrong nor truth or lie. They are simply part of a philosophy that can be adheared to or cast off. A philosophy I want to cast of because of the pain it has lead me to. I call it nonsense not because it is, but because of where the discipling of that philosophy brought me; to complete dispear and darkness on the winter solstice.
My struggles with faith or religion or whatever started in my early adolesence. Later I sought some deep meaning believing that objective truth had to be attainable and to adopt some principle or faith in an arbitrary fashion, just for the sake in having belief in something, was a gross afront to honor or truth or whatever. It was around that same time I began my wandering ways, with no idea then how much a wanderer I would become. To be fair at that point I don’t even think I could be considered a wanderer as it was just a summer job.
That was freaking almost 14 years ago. Wow. It is so weird to write that down. Anyway, I have made great efforts to settle down ( and yes damn it I really tried I don’t care what it seems like ), and as many attempts at ridding myself of romanticism as there have been heartbreaks. Yet here I am god knows where, and gradually accepting that romanticism will always be a part of me.
I’m not saying that I will always roam ( I hope not ), or that I will remain as naive with regards to love but it is impossible to ignore that there is some subjective, at the very least, truth that those things are part of me and in no small way connect me to a more objective and even divine truth. That stubborn alcolyte of my early 20’s paid off on some level I guess.
A friend from my mathematics days told me that Persians celebrate the solstice ( Yalda Night )with family, friends, pommegranates and watermelon. It was a wonderful reminder of what can be found in the darkness. It was the pain of that night that led to the above revelations. It also reminded me of an important lesson from mathematics.
The blessing of really knowing calculus well extends beyond the realm of always having teaching options open. In times past, when I was feeling sad or lonely I would do Riemman sums to pass the time. The satisfaction of such calculations made me feel better and more importantly kept my mind occupied. Today however I shall skip the integral form and appeal to the derivative. Perhaps, on some quantum level, the time I have in this life is discretized. However I will just assume it is continuous, or at the very least continuous almost everywhere. My feelings are definitely in the negative and I feel that I have reached a true local minimum. Thus…I can rejoice!!!! For even though the “darkest before dawn” idea is balogna, if one achieves a minimum on a continuous interval, as time increases there must be an interval in which the derivative is positive. The new calculus student often makes the critical error of believing that if the derivative is positive then so must be the function. Do not make this mistake. For while my derivative is now positive ( and I admit it is, at the very least, arrogant to simply claim that I am differentiable without even offering a differnece quotient ) my function is still below the x axis. Who knows what can even be said about my concavity. That reminds me of a joke I made up and told my business calculus students years ago. Why do you want your teeth function to be linear? So that is has no concavities!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Better still, what do you call a bunch of frat guys doing matrix calculations at Hooters? Linear Algebros!!!!! LOLOLOLOL. Seriously, take a moment and really appreciate those.
So happines comes round even if it is slowly and Christmas Eve is pretty much my favorite day of the year so there is that and it’s tough to . I would put on sunglasses for the blinding whiteness that follows.
Happy Holidays Everybody !!!!