The other day I was talking to a representative from the Canada Council for the Arts, when she asked to see my blog. Moments after I emailed the link to her she called back saying, and I quote:
“What a beautiful blog, very elegant, very simple and beautiful design.”
I felt a lump in my throat and at the same time I felt happy and proud. It’s been a long time since someone complimented me on the design of my blog considering that I’ve been blogging for close to eight years. I often receive compliments for my writings even though I haven’t posted for a long while now.
See, my late husband, may he rest in peace, had designed my blog for me. I didn’t have to tell him how I wanted it to look since he knew what I liked. We both believed that beauty is in the simplicity of art.
During the twenty two years that I taught mathematics to high school kids, I tried to motivate my students to think and find all the possible solutions, all the different methods of solving a given problem. And afterwards I encouraged them to choose the simplest solution which also happened to be the shortest and clearest to follow, beautiful for the eye to catch.
Bertrand Russell wrote:
“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty –a beauty cold and austere- like that of a sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”
Sublime beauty and truth! Yes! I find beauty in the simplicity of not only mathematics but arts and literature too. My choice of books and writing reflects pretty much that. As a reader I love books that are simply written and yet speak to my heart and convey a message or portray real life situations. Books written simply about ordinary people with extraordinary dreams, people that I can relate to. I cannot stand superfluous prose where you feel the writer behind the lines pretending to tell you something beyond comprehension all in the name of art.
I feel that there is already too much going on in the world and my mind that I need everything else around me to be as simple and as peaceful and truthful and real as possible.
For the past two years or so I have sometimes felt vulnerable, sometimes bored, at other times frightened and sad, and most of the time confused and insecure regardless of how hard I have tried to stay hopeful and inspired. And as a consequence I have allowed myself to be in some kind of mental inertia. I have permitted myself to abandon my writing, my blog, my “brainchild” as Julia Cameron would call it.
In the beginning I had to let go, due to some unexpected and unpleasant situation in my life. But then it turned into a habit, a self-destructive habit that has made me miserable and depressed. A habit that has caused me to let my readers and myself down hence leaving my heart in turmoil.
Mitch Albom writes:
“You can feel the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain –no matter how smart or accomplished- they cry, they yearn, they hurt. But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love and a peaceful heart.”