Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Simplicity, Beauty, and Accuracy

On Sunday we went to the library to check out children's books to help me with my Hebrew (as well as give me something to do while I wait a few more days for school to start...)

Yesterday, I (with the help of Matan) read through my first book!

It's called: 

הכי טוב לדג
(It's Best for the Fish)

In the library I chose it because skimming through I recognized enough of the words that I could potentially connect the dots with the ones I didn't know, there are nice illustrations with only a sentence to accompany each one, and there's repetition of a phrase.

I found this book to be quite beautiful, so here are some of my favorite pages.

It's best for the fish to swim within the water.

It's best for lips to smile and to laugh.

It's best for the table to dance with the chair.

It's best for letters to put together words.

It's best for waves to tickle the beach.

It's best for the sun when spring arrives.

It's best for the moon to have stars around.

That's straight poetry if I ever heard it.

I googled the book and found a really interesting interview with the author, אפרת בנק (Efrat Bank).  The webpage http://www.tipa.co.il/articlePage.asp?articleId=2136 is in Hebrew so I used the option to translate it, and below are the twice translated responses (first by google from Hebrew to English, and then by me, translating google's poor English to a more natural English) to the questions:

"What is the idea behind the book?"

 "By "best" I mean "L'hci [most] natural". For me, if all of us do precisely what is most natural for us, what we would most like even if there is no explanation for why, even if what we want to do sounds to others "unrealistic" or "childish", it will be best, happiest, & most true."

"How come you became a doctoral student in mathematics and then a writer of children's books? Is this something that was always there?"

"Since I can remember I've been writing and I loved messing with numbers and shapes. Although the relationship between math and writing may seem odd, to me it is completely natural. Also, in writing and math I recognize the same desire for simplicity, beauty and accuracy. Two seemingly different disciplines, it is striving to "truth", it will express an idea in a new way and serve it best."

Wow. By writing about this 'milestone' of mine, what I found already to be innately beautiful has just become that much more gorgeous.

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