I am a Raven. I lurk. I’m moody and dark and hunched and given to bouts of unreasonable shyness. I spook easily. I eat just about anything and delight in the anythings in wrappers. I’m too good at getting into things and too good at getting back out of them. I hide useless things and remember useless things and largely ignore what bipeds consider vitally important. Unless they’re vitally important shiny things, then we’re back on the same page. I am a shadow and a trickster. I have a nose for battle and an eye for playful updrafts. I am a Raven.
I am a Phoenix. Ever re-inventing myself in a hail of glory and flame. Ever singing unintelligibly of things that don’t exist. Ever glowing. Ever charging bravely forward to my all-too-obvious demise. Ever crawling from my own ashes. Ever growing brand new feathers. Ever taking the first steps, first breaths. I am a Phoenix.
Today, I am a duck. Ungainly and graceless over even the softest green grass, I saunter my unbalanced self toward a lake of deep uncertainty. Water is math. I can float along and swim with the logic and catch my dinner and bask in the peace of water. And yet, water (read math) just rolls off my back without so much as a glimmering stain to suggest its passing. I float on the logic of math. I am a duck with big webbed feet that push expertly through the water and steer me and propell me to safety. I am a duck, though, amongst a world of turtles and fish for whom water is not only an integral part of every day life but a large part of their very bodies and minds. Water will never be with me like that. Water can’t touch me. Water rolls right off me. It bounces onto my face and bounces right back off without even the courtesy to break into smaller pieces.
Water is math. It’s everywhere and there’s not a thing around that would exist without it. It’s everywhere. It’s in everything. My poor boss is slowly coming to terms with the idea that no matter how many buckets of water she throws at me, onto me, or simply grabs my neck and plunges me into… the water will simply glide perfectly away and she’ll have naught to show for it but a fistful of cranky mallard.
To be fair – I am catching on to a few of the tricks and equations. Won’t ever be able to do ‘em in my head… like most of everyone won’t ever be able to discuss the finer points of Byzantine Architecture in Hindi. But I am, at the end of every day, leaving my desk with an extra fraction of a fraction of an understanding of the math required and by the end of this it might actually add up to something. But I’m no good at math so I can’t say for sure. Slowly, my head will gain water and get soggy and all of the fish in the pond will beam proudly at my moppy feathers. I’ll be a sopping wet, soggy duck and I’ll be as proud as anyone ever was of anything ever.
But then, rest assured, the sun will come out and my feathers will dry and I’ll be back to where I started when I was just a duck. And I’ll always be a duck.
And thank the mighty and fickle gods that I’ll always be a Raven.
And thank the mighty and fickle gods that I’ll always be a Phoenix.
just maybe I’ll get to reinvent myself someday as someone who can do math.