Salt of the Mind

In a half-hearted nod to self-improvement, I started growing salt crystals in an attempt to improve my patience. It was not a pleasant experience.

Anyone who knows me also knows I basically have the patience of a mosquito. I’m not sure if I was always this bad or if my stint in business made it thus. One does not move a quarter million units a month in the laid-back lull of Cape Town without being a tad over dramatic. Though it’s more likely because up until now I’ve simply been able to get away with it.

But back to the crystals. They sat there for a few weeks, I think, though I’m not really sure how long. Every time I saw them, they filled me with mild annoyance, like the itch of a mosquito bite, so I mostly ignored them. But I persisted and managed to get some beautiful cubes at the end of it. If they were to be graded like diamonds, they would probably come out very poor (so many inclusions), but I’m still proud of them, in a “let’s agree to disagree” sort of way.

A long time ago I’d noticed so many of the religious descriptions of divine things can basically describe water (imminent and transient…necessary for life… three forms (ish)… powerful…connected to weather). This didn’t really surprise me given we’re made of it, so it would be sensible an intimate relationship would spawn so many analogies.

But we are also salt, and as I was picking through my crystals, thinking of rows of buildings and mosaic tiles, I couldn’t help but wonder if our mathematical thinking might be heavily influenced by salt structures, which are basically little Cartesian coordinate planes if you think of it.

It wouldn’t surprise me much if this were true. A body needs salt to consume water, and personally I’ve found the only time philosophical things are of any interest is when I’m doing math. Maybe it’s just my brain trying to counterbalance the rigidity of mathematics with something more fluid…a metaphorical, metaphysical meltdown. Maybe I just really enjoy rebelling against serious things. Whatever the reason, it’s probably good to remember the running streams of an imaginative mind can benefit greatly from a salty structure, inclusive of a few boundaries and of course, a fair amount of patience.