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31 December 2007

Our unfinished masterpiece, our incompleteness theorem

Thread_samples_big_2 There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. –Louis L’Amour

In 1927, mathematician David Hilbert put the capstone on mathematics. Mathematics was done, he asserted in his proof theory. Less than five years later, in 1931, Kurt Gödel developed the incompleteness theorem, basically starting everything over again. So, in such a way, what people thought was the end of mathematics was really a new beginning. So, too, it is with years, or lives.

New beginnings require summary of some sort, it seems. Or at least that is our impulse—to review, tie up neatly, categorize. And so, a wee accounting of the past 365 days in Blog World:

My favorite posts from 2007:

Let go of the monkey bar
Learn your shadow
Daily poems posted for April’s National Poetry Month
Let it be a barn
Eat breakfast on a lake
Go see the tiny Ninjas
Send leaves
Bust your toast rules
C is for compass
P is for Pentimento :: Palimpsest :: Paint :: Pen
R is for rightness
Explore your prison cell
Y is for yearning
U is for unlearn

A few blogs I enjoyed reading in 2007:

Christine Kane’s Blog
Redemption Shoes
How to Save the World
Anecdote
Zen Habits
Networks, Complexity, and Relatedness
Light Skinned-ed Girl
Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
Gluten-Free Girl
Woolgathering
Yarnstorm
Ben Casnocha: The Blog

Some of the people who had the biggest impact on me in 2007:

Mr Brilliant, of course, and Emma and Tess
Singer Paul Potts
Author Richard Powers
Hip-hop artist Mic Crenshaw
Percussionist and interculturalist  Rafael Otto (as emcee)
Artist David Robinson
Philosopher Kichom Hayashi
Interculturalist Bob Elsen
Photographer Miguel Gandert
Interculturalist Esther Louie
Writer Amy McCracken
Consultant and juggler Andrew Rixon
Artist Donna B. Miller
All the fantastic, brilliant artists who participated in the 37days art challenge
Thinker Dave Pollard

Books my Bridging Differences Book Club read in 2007:

The Time of Our Singing - Richard Powers
She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders - Jennifer Finney Boylan
Stuart, A Life Backwards – Alexander Masters
When the Emperor was Divine – Julie Otsuka
Songs of the Gorilla Nation – Dawn Prince-Hughes
Burro Genius, A Memoir – Victor Villasenor
Translation Nation – Hector Tobar
My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love and Forgiveness – Patricia Raybon

Some of the books the Book Club will read in 2008:

DrownJunot Díaz
Sula – Toni Morrison
Planet of the Blind - Stephen Kuusisto
No God but God - Reza Aslan
Zigzagger - Manuel Muñoz
In The Name Of Identity: Violence and The Need To Belong – Amin Maalouf
Nine Parts of Desire – Geraldine Brooks

The best book I read in 2007:

No contest – it was The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
Not only is Richard Powers brilliant and an exquisite writer, but I had the opportunity to interview him this year and he is also one of the most generous, gentle, and well-spoken people I’ve ever had the opportunity to speak with. This is the best book about race in the U.S. I've ever read.

 And as we end 2007, I’m reminded of that artist in Balzac’s Unfinished Masterpiece (also known as the Unknown Masterpiece) who cannot leave his masterpiece alone, but keeps getting up in the middle of the night to work on it, effectively ruining it. I’m reminded also of a quote from Orson Welles: “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” Let’s stop here and start again tomorrow in a whole new year of possibility, our own incompleteness theorem.

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Patti, Happy New Year! I look forward to reading and participating throughout the year at 37 Days!

I look forward to reading your blog throughout 2008! Happy New Year.

Patti, Happy New Year! Thanks for the insight and wisdom. You're the best! I can't wait to see what you've got in store for us in 2008!

what a lovely blog - visiting here from creative everyday, bookmarked you and will return. wonderful photos,lovely images, terrific messages.

Happy New Year to you Patti and many thanks for all the wonderful posts of 2007. Your wrap-up of the year is a delight.

So much good stuff here to explore! (Which will require multiple visits to linkety-link.) :) Love Geraldine Brooks (she's a friend of a friend)...that book looks intriguing. I think the post that made me laugh the most was "R for Rightness"...not that I could relate or anything...

I am unbelievably flattered and humbled to be on your list. What a wonderful way to start the new year. Thanks for all you do to make us think and grow.

patti-- i've been curious about the book list that you, john and emma were compiling to read in 2007. which ones did you end
up reading?

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