The Work’s the Thing
I’m digging through my notes today, trying to find a particular quote by Einstein. He puts a thought in such an excellent way, as usual, that I really don’t want to reform it here.
But, essentially, he says that he finds the world of math and theoretical physics to be absorbing consolation for all the pains and ills of life. And that, against the contributions he can make through these channels, his daily trials and tribulations mean little.
I like this comment of his for several reasons. One, because it gives insight into the man – the solitary nature of his days; the sufferings that we forget he must have had, sufferings that, no doubt, contributed to his wisdom. And it helps me understand how he was always immersed in a bigger picture.
But mostly, I like his comment because I identify with it. Math is dear consolation for a disappointing, difficult world. When the day’s struggles creep up on me, it is one place where I can take refuge. There is knowledge and understanding to be had in these things. Discovering what lies in these mysteries, my own problems become meaningless.