Something Other

“Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than itself” from de Saint Exupery’s The Wisdom of the Sands

I’ve recently changed the theme and header image of this blog. The header is a section of one of M C Escher’s symmetry drawings. The bees, I thought, could represent the ‘buzziness’ of education and the minds engaged in it!

I have always been fascinated by Escher’s work: not so much the space-filling symmetry works (these somehow make me feel trapped by their very order and complete coverage…no space for imagination or interpretation) and not even by his mathematically famous ‘impossible structure’ works such as Belvedere (shown below), but by some of his other works that capture the mind and send it off into interpretational meanderings. Some of the earlier work that depicts natural and urban scenes is also beautiful but not mind-expanding.


Some of the more thought-provoking works that appeal to me are Drawing Hands:

 Drawing Hands

This one intrigues – is what we create with one hand in this moment of time original in its execution or is everything we do actually being guided by another hand that is ours as well…such as experiences we have had that unconsciously emerge or in our genetic imprint? I am conscious that the way I wave my hands around and certain patterns of phraseology in my speech come from my mother. Is anything actually mine and mine alone?

Another work that ‘speaks to me’ is Three Worlds:

 Three Worlds

This one I love for its implications and revelations about reflections and what lies beneath the everyday. What does it say about ‘looking in’, ‘looking out’ and ‘looking at’?

The final one is Bond of Union, which is similar to Rind.

Bond of Union

As people ‘unravel’ and reveal what lies beneath their protective outer behaviours, they allow a true union and bond to form. So many of us live in fear of revealing who we really are; we develop protective layers from years of experience and practice. It takes courage and trust to let down one’s guard and let another see our authentic selves. Our students do this too and it can inhibit them learning to their full potential.

Should we be more mindful of destructive patterns of behaviour and deliberately invest time and energy to re-creating more fruitful ones? I will try….for myself and for my students.

About Linda

I have been involved in secondary mathematics education in Victoria, Australia for over 25 years.
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