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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Knot


File:Alpine Butterfly Bend Final.jpg

L'homme n'est qu'un noeud de relations,
les relations comptent seules pour l'homme

-- St-Exupéry

The four of

them together

beneath the roof

of the one

room school –-

someone’s relative

is in the photograph –-

in my hand it breaks, a leaf

found in a book,

the yellow veins, the brown

split edges. I

imagine them –- the four

together –- holding

hands; all are

dead now. A person

is a someone's


complication of


with other

someones, she

or he -- these

loose strings

coming together

to form a knot --

File:Alpine Butterfly Bend HowTo.jpg

Alpine Butterly Bend: photo by Chris 73, 2004
Alpine Butterly Bend How To: photo by Chris 73, 2004
(via Wikimedia Commons)


Matthew said...

Hi Tom!

Just a few words...

Plasmé mi sonrisa en un papel

y le dí alas para que vuele lejos

con la esperanza de que se pose en sus hermosas manos

y ella me guarde dentro de su corazón.

Matthew said...


The same comment in two places!

human being said...

so strange!
just yesterday my daughter was telling me about her new discovery: the alpine knot...

and today i'm here with the pictures of that knot...

quantum entanglement...
surely... i do believe in it...
and isn't this beautiful poem about this?

it beautifully transcends the physicality of a knot to the spirituality of an entanglement between souls...

the location
that leaf found in a book
the form of the poem and the line breaks
ending the poem with the word 'knot'
the quote by St-Exupéry

have made this work really powerful

loved it a lot
and i really felt it...

Mariana Soffer said...

I recently had a class aabout knot theory and I love it, this is what it is all about:
In mathematics, knot theory is the area of topology that studies mathematical knots. While inspired by knots which appear in daily life in shoelaces and rope, a mathematician's knot differs in that the ends are joined together to prevent it from becoming undone. In precise mathematical language, a knot is an embedding of a circle in 3-dimensional Euclidean space.

human being: string theory and entanglment are related to quantum physics, while knot theory has to do more with classic topology and graph theory. So they are pretty different things

Hope you find it interesting. If not let me know and I will stop with the math things.
take care guys

TC said...


Thank you for visiting, and you may say such lovely things on any post you choose.

human being and Mariana,

You've made me think tonight about this poem "from the outside" after being entangled in its tight little knots all of last night (and, to be honest, for about forty-five years preceding that), for which many thanks.

And Mariana, never stop with the math things!

(I suppose the post was inspired by a sense of some little knots and entanglements connecting us in curious ways as we work together, alongside and hopefully perhaps with each other, in whatever this is we are all doing... if that makes any sense.)

Anonymous said...

The souls of people like all of us here, who feel touched by the same things, are entangled. That is the beauty of life. That is why we are not alone.

Matthew said...


Thanks for your kindness! You have a very nice blog.

The knots of the pics look good... but there are invisible knots, which are more stronger!

human being said...

my dearest Marianna...
i didn't know about knot theory in math... quite interesting...
what i had in mind was the same thing Tom and Lucy talked about...

i know a little about quantum physics... and that expression is usually used when souls are in a cosmic dialog...
my branch of study at high school was math and physics and i'm still interested in these subjects... they are so close to our life and our philosophical and mystical thoughts... i'm especially interested in non-Euclidean concepts and some of my works are inspired by them...
i'll give you the links if you are interested...

and please know that i really enjoy and appreciate what you write on your blog or as comments for all of us... as i told you before, analytical thinking is what can help us in any endeavor... and we really learn from you...

Mariana Soffer said...

human being:
my dear friends it is really interesting for me your background, now that I know a little more about me it makes sense somethings you say and think.
I read a little bit very little about quantum, but I know almost nothing about it, I talk about with
rob a little about it, that is mostly how I learn those things. I want to know more but time is not infinite.

I like a lot how you describe and talk about math and physics, I am still interested ass well, indeed I had to learn a lot about those for my research. Currently I am in the lineal algebra field, which I am a playing for several different things such as ranking webpages, either normal ones, social network ones, and 4 more that I distinguish now. I am also doing dimensionality reduction algorithms based on matrices.

I am so so so interesting in non euclidian gemoetries, that it seems too much of a casualty that you care about it too. I did some modules for representing data on the screen and I wanted to do it in a special, better and more informative way than the normal one, I acomplished some different new stuff, I can tell about you if you want, So far I use 8 different kinds of distance calculations, but I want more of them, specially of the fuzzy kind, like the minkowsky one.

Please send me the information you have, cause as you see I am very interested about it, maybe we can help each other, answer each other doubts.
I like a lot this idea, what do you think?

Thank you very much about what you say regardings help, I can tell you you write awesome things and by doing that you also help myself

human being said...

wow! Mariana... while i was reading your fabulous answer, i wished i'd been sitting at a class you'd taught... i didn't understand half of what you said because of the technical jargons and concepts but your enthusiasm made me understand them through my heart... seeking eagerly for more... not many teachers can create such an energy...

surely i'm interested to know more... a really intersting field you are in...

the only information i can share is my limping understanding of these concepts depicted in my works... i'll put the links for you here tomorrow... now i'm just too sleepy...
i wrote a lot today but i didn't put them up... i had a lot to write for friends on their blogs but i didn't... seems i've got a frog in the throat of my mind...
just i wrote for you and Tom here... and now i feel i like to check your new post... so i'm on my way to your cozy corner...

hey... Marianna...
look what a knot is created here between us on this 'kont' post by Tom...

poetry is life...

human being said...

'knot' post

Mariana Soffer said...

Human being and TC<

human being said...

thanks a lot Mariana...
i was there on your blog... and wrote for you... also put the links to two of my works there...

hey... where is my sleep!

TC said...


We are in agreement that Euclid did not know all the angles.


"...when souls are in cosmic dialogue," perhaps like passing through one's angel on the bridge?--this is the kind of math I like.

Speaking of angels, to have such brilliant poetic presences in the night, my poor blog is greatly honoured.

Let's tie the knot, and then another, and another...

Mariana Soffer said...

this is not a poor blog at all, it keeps getting better and better tom

aditya said...

It has been long since I read something this profound.
Intriguing metaphors ...

in my hand it breaks, a leaf found in a book, the yellow veins, the brown split edges.

has been incredibly penned. Took me a while to understand.

such things do happen and we are left with photographs, leafs and vague memories.

I though, could not fully understand the quote by St- Exupéry. :)

TC said...

Thanks my friend.

The quote says:

A man is only a knot of relations,
relations are all that count for men.

(Though I'd rather read "humans" or "persons" or "people" for "men", still you get the idea.)

aditya said...


I had gogled but got a pretty distortted translation.

Thans forthe enlightenment anyways. :)