This poem was written after attending a panel of advanced mathematicians on fractals and the human brain. Although mathematicians speak of fractals in nature, it was interesting to hear them apply those concepts in further ways. My brain could barely hang on:
Alone we define the universe.
With Science, experience, and then a hearse.
But that day we delved into nature wed to technology
Seen inside the head.
We surmised from this our moral dilemma,
And felt as if we’d been to a cinema.
We ended with a fractal hug,
Iterated around the room,
And gave chaos a plug.
The Mathematics panel was sort of like reality . . . you don’t know for sure if you understand it, but it goes on anyway.
Life is like a teeter-totter. . . we strive for balance on the seesaw, not always sure where the fulcrum is. But after the fact, we can tell you the exact formula of where the fulcrum was. Hindsight legitimized!
Maybe computers are helping us confirm what at moments we have experienced that there is a regularity to the chaotic equation of change as it gives birth to a stable reality. These “labor pains” are called growth.
The state of bifurcated flux between chaos and stability is the fractal state in between one state (like ice) and another (like water). We’ve all heard of a fifth dimension; maybe we should call this the decimal dimension. Or is it a dimension between two footholds on the mountain of growth?
Even if many of us were not quite sure what was going on during the program about the brain and mathematics, we enjoyed tossing around concepts of probability vs. determinism, free will philosophies, and viewing — if only for a moment — the infinitesimal splendors of fractal explorations.
Copyright 1990 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.