This is my entry this week for therealljidol. I invite you to read and vote for the many fine entries. This week we had to write about
five six topics. This piece is in response to the topic "Closer."
In theory, the space between us was supple, infinite.
Atoms adorned your lashes while my lips grazed gravitons.
Then, we halved the space between, grew nearer.
Your compact strength to my blue-blonde softness.
Halfway, we crept closer, always by half, inching.
We have never stopped halving space, and yet
we touched, then wed. Our cells combined,
melding into a boy who resembles us both.
His mind hails from a star I long to reach.
I will always be this close to knowing.
(For the visually impaired, the poem above is split into two sections. On each line, the gap between the two sections gets gradually smaller until, in the last line, it is only a couple spaces.)
In high school calculus class, I was introduced to the Asymptote, which is a graph of a curve that grows closer and closer to a line. Such is the nature of high-school calculus that our teacher spent the entire course teaching us how to mathematically determine such graphs without ever (that I remember) explaining their real-world function.
As a part of that class, we were also introduced to the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno's dichotomy paradox, although not by name. This theory states that, before you can reach a goal, you must traverse halfway there, and then halfway again. Theoretically, this sets up an infinite series of halves, with the increment between the objects getting smaller and smaller but never quite touching.
For many years, this theory has fascinated me. While I'm not mathematician enough to understand the practical applications, it resonates for me emotionally. No matter how close you grow to another person, whether it's your husband or your son (who after all, is half you), it's impossible to know anyone completely. There will always be that slight space between you, both physically and cerebrally. Love, to me, is that desire to close those gaps.
Thanks to my beta reader, roina_arwen for suggesting the "V" form for this poem. Thanks to my husband, The Gryphon (a.k.a. toanstation), for helping me remember the actual name of the theory in question. It's great to be married to a geek!