Between Two Points

The scientist and mathematician agree; the shortest path between two points is a straight line. I have a re-occurring image of myself as a child. Little Me would envision two points and try to make a straight line between them. This seemingly simple imagining was tortured proof of my inability to perform a basic task on my own, without tools.

Little me, without the tools of a ruler, pencil and paper, couldn’t even imagine a straight line. Fail! Fail! As each imaginary point on the line was drawn the rest would disappear. I couldn’t keep the line in my mind, in it’s entirety. Only the fraction of the line I was focused on was real. The other line bits, as soon as I didn’t focus on them, would go *poof* into the cosmos. As I tried to attach the bits of line to pull them back into the perfect straight line, I ended up making huge arches in my imagining. My mind was not vast enough to gather all the pieces of line as they became air-born. I could not make a straight line in my mind, as hard as I tried. I did try hard, for years. I tried during class, watching TV, riding my pony and under the kitchen table while adults were talking.

Sometimes, Little Me would find an alone spot to work this problem out with my body. My body was an allowable tool, since it was attached to my mind. Alas, the straight line, eluded my body as well. The wide sweeps of my mind came back with a vengeance as my heart directed my shoulders, straight arms, reaching fingers to, “get ahead of the line before it escapes!”. My pony’s wide-eyes watched as I flailed in slow motion, in the center aisle of the barn, trying to catch my imagined pieces of line from escaping. I was horribly aware that I was  making the very opposite of a perfect line. If I couldn’t reach the perfect line, I would just fail gloriously. It was so fucking frustrating, I can’t even begin to describe. Even now, my heart is accelerated and my jaw is clenched at the memory.

I loved the ruler, the blank page and the pencil that allowed me to make a perfect, straight line between two points. I hated it too, because it make the whole concept of a straight line look so basic, so easy. I would practice this on paper, thinking that if did it enough with tools, I would be more equipped to imagine it without tools. In the end, it did not work.

I don’t know why the perfect, straight line between two unsuspecting points became such an important goal for Little Me to accomplish on my own. Maybe the “shortest distance” is not a path I was made for and maybe I needed to discover that for myself. After all,  I am neither a mathematician or a scientist. I am a woman of full moon imagination, that bursts from my heart and arches widely. Big Me wants to embrace Little Me and say, “thank you!” for never mastering the precise ability to imagine the perfect straight line. “Thank you!” for trying to gather the little pieces of line that strayed and, “thank you!” for failing in that. I am learning to use tools to collect the floating pieces of imagination that have been escaping all these years. As each shard of imagination is laid and pieced together with the rest, they may evolve into something worth sharing.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dude on October 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂 I just happened to check your blog, which I haven’t in months because I suppose I thought you had abandoned it. Oh man! This made my day! It occurred to me, as I was reading “Between Two Points,” that I never really knew you as a child. I was too self-absorbed, I guess. One beauty of age is our perspective on ourselves. Now that I am no longer the center of my universe, I look forward to learning who you are, Sistah!

    Reply

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