Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Fiddle Lovers Online

Is there any sense to mathematical messes?

Posted by groundhogpeggy on Thursday, July 23, 2015

...and, no, I'm no mathematician...I have to re-count our chickens each night to make sure all the hens got back safely.  My first count often goes wacky, because I never really learned to count, it to trust math.  But here I sit in a big pile of mathematical messes needing to be unwound.  From here on my front porch, I see the neat arrangement of sunflower seeds, the Fibonacci or whatever it is, phi number sequence, supposedly, that makes the tightly packed sunflower seeds spiral out in the beautiful pattern they stay true to.  Even though they look weepy and heavy, burdened with their own mathematical and artistic genius...loaded with mathematical law-abiding yellow finches, wrens, chickadees, cardinals.  Wondering if they follow any particular order in seed-eating...  Then worrying all night over wacky math, disobeying the thyroid laws, in my daughter's struggle with illness...numbers going anywhichway...not making sense.  Oh, did I use that bowing word, anywhichway?  Yep, I did.  Which of course brings me around to fiddling...something I think about a lot, but don't often do at the moment.  But I did for a few minutes on the porch here this morning.  And, with patterns, regularities, predict abilities and general nature-law-abiding on my mind...I realized my fiddling has shifted somewhat.  I don't really have much time for writing ( helping somebody with one thing or another...and today it's more doctor appointments), but in the few minutes I fiddled out here, I realized I have gone off and left the Nashville Shuffles behind.  I'm not sure I ever would have been aware of this, really, except that a long time ago, when my daughter was in high school...she and her friends wanted me to show them some fingerpicking on guitar.  I showed them something somebody had shown me, a neighbor, about 40 years before that time...broke it down, then played it up to speed.  The kids all caught me: "but you're not playing what you showed us!"  Then I realized how I had strayed from that and wasn't sure what I was doing!  I think for a while now, this has been happening with my fiddling: I'm thinking Nashville Shuffle, mainly, and there might be a ghost that runs true to that somewhere hovering above, but my actual, concrete bowing moves are, well, all over the place.  A couple of times I was aware of this, kinda liked some specific thing, tried to go back and do that again with my bow to see what I was doing...and couldn't reproduce it., I'm in the dark.  Yet, wondering, if like the sunflowers, birds, overgrown yard and gardens here, that carry a ghost or shadow of a thread that runs true, somewhere behind the appearance of disorder, of anywhichway...if my bowing does it...and if daughter's thyroid does this too.  Is there some thread running the proper course, while numbers on a see-saw confuse the tangible we live in here...if there is still some order, some meaning, in the intangible that we feel, we sense, we could tap into to be guided along.  I don't know.  Feeling confused on many levels.  But now it's time to get ready to go a long distance to get her to a holistic see if there is any sense to be discovered.  An Eastern bluebird just now buzzed me through the porch...the first one I've seen all year.  I'm just superstitious enough to think there are signs to watch, hints from everything around us.  Sensing this guidance has helped me with many things in my life: tracking animals, planting seeds, caring for plants, playing music, and doing a lot of other things.  But, looking too hard interferes with what we see and what we think we see.  My great grandmother used to come back inside with a four-leaf clover every time she left to do something outside in the farm.  I seem to have gotten this husband always got so envious, because he would search and search for them, I'd keep explaining you find them most when you let them reveal themselves to you.  He learned that recently...he can walk along and be receptive to a four-leaf  Pretty silly stuff.  But I can't help but think...there's so much missing in the madness, the anywhichwayness, that's before our eyes and ears.  Maybe searching for order reveals so much, but I can't help but wonder what we miss by searching too hard.  And now, I gotta go!

4 comments on “Is there any sense to mathematical messes?”

fiddlepogo Says:
Thursday, July 30, 2015 @10:53:50 AM

As I've probably told you, I'm dyscalculic, and I suspect you are too. Math-challenged, with the frequent upside of extra musical and or verbal brain wiring. However, if it involves something I love, like fiddling, and the math isn't too terribly hard.... well, for fiddle bowing, I can make myself do 2 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 8 (OTJ's Georgia Shuffle, btw!) In fact, maybe why I can do it is that the math involved is actually just challenging enough for my math-handicapped brain to maintain my interest, whereas with people with normal brain wiring, the math involved in bowing patterns isn't so much challenging as it is mind numbingly BORING. Anyway, I know and believe there are mathematical patterns underlying music and many other things in life, but for most of them, I know they are beyond my brain's meager math wiring, and I'm content to leave them to better minds than mine!
Fortunately, there are also intuitive ways of approaching a lot of things. As far as drum rudiments, I'm realizing that much of what I've learned in the last two years I actually was capable of doing intuitively with my hands when pretending to play hand drums. But when it comes to doing them with sticks, it's clumsier, and it helped to go over them slowly and analytical to gain stick control, and helps me focus on the sequences that feel clumsy for me. And with bowing, really what it's all about is that changing direction at certain places creates a rhythmic pulse- and you can do that analytically or intuitively. But if it HAS a pulse, well, someone could analyze it, and even if you weren't AWARE of a particular pattern, a person with better analysis capability in that area could write down precisely what you were doing.
In other words.... I'm confident that you are THINKING "anywhichway", but if it sounds rhythmic, it's likely a pattern of some kind.

As far as the receptivity and possibly searching too hard- whatever works! There are good things that happen for me in intuitive mode, and things that work well by analysis. "To everything there is a season...." But if the analysis is so hard that my brain circuits start overheating and smoking, well, it's TOO HARD, and I'll either go back to intuitive mode, or quit!
At some point you have to be content to be who you are, with whatever circuitry (abilities) you've got, and stop trying to be something you're not, 'cause "it's like teaching a pig to sing- the results are unsatisfactory- and it annoys the pig!"

Here's hoping that was the "bluebird of happiness" you saw!

groundhogpeggy Says:
Friday, August 7, 2015 @1:30:00 PM

I hear ya! Me's gotta be intuitive, not formulaic. I took a college class in conceptual physics, where I learned more than the whole rest of college put together. The prof was really great at guiding non math people into clicking in our intuition about far out quantum and weird physics stuff. Once in a paper I apparently made the exact mistake Leornardo da Vinci made: the prof went nuts and gave me extra He was delighted my intuitive physics observations were kicking in. But the math...blah...forget it...I have to count the forks several times over to serve a meal...and everyone chuckles because usually I get it wrong...we're talking about less than ten, Normaly!

fiddlepogo Says:
Friday, August 7, 2015 @1:44:38 PM

So funny about getting extra points for a wrong answer because it was the same mistake Leonardo da Vinci made!

It may be kind of late, but I think I boosted my otherwise dodgy math ability somehow by using an abacus as a kid, or by using my fingers in an abacus-like way.
I think from that I somehow retained an ability to do math VISUALLY in my brain, but it can't be too complex. Like if I need to keep purchases at a store below a certain level, I CAN do it in my head by rounding off the cents, and doing a kind of abacus thing in whole dollars.... of course then, my purchases seldom go over $30.

groundhogpeggy Says:
Friday, August 7, 2015 @2:26:26 PM

I usually under-purchase...out of fear my math is't wanna take chances and look like an idiot at the checkout!

You must sign into your myHangout account before you can post comments.

More posts from groundhogpeggy

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Fiddle Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Newest Posts

Click for Details 'Amazing Grace' 10 hrs

More >  

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories