It’s natural to gaze with wonder at a blazing sunset or a beautiful painting. A brilliant idea on the other hand is altogether different. It can slap me in the face and I can step right over it and not see the beauty and possibility laid out before me. Perhaps it’s because the most beautiful ideas are simple. Like the fact that just three primary colors – red, blue, and yellow can combine to make every color imaginable. The simplicity camouflages the deep potential just below the surface.
Until recently geometry was one of those blazing ideas that I just couldn’t see. In the seventh grade it was just a class that required memorizing rules with funny names. Why did they name them after some guy named Pythagoras? No time for deeper questions, just learn the theorems and click them into place to pass a test. No thought that geometry lay at the root behind everything in the built world. No mention that geometry was the key to bring order out of chaos with a few simple lines and a curve or two.
I’m still stepping over the simple and missing the profound. But every once in a while I find a nugget and pause to stop and wonder.
George R. Walker