"A man writes because he doubts, because he is tormented."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On 26


"Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
To thee I send this written embassage,
To witness duty, not to show my wit:
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it..."
(William Shakespeare - Sonnet XXVI)

Reading Shakespeare's 26th sonnet feels like a kindred spirit to me. He, as I do, felt an agony, that having a "wit so poor" makes his poetry seem bare, for his lord of his love is so great that there are no adequate "words to show it."

Verbiage and profundity are of no use. So, let me speak about your 26th year in a parlance that I am familiar with. For, as Pablo Neruda also said in his 26th sonnet, "...in every pure landscape, the earth has imitated you."

You may think 26 as a mundane number, unwarranted for further peroration. But behind its unremarkable facade, lies interesting things.

I can speak of 26 as the atomic number of iron. Seems trite, indeed, as iron is the most common element of the earth. But lest you forget, iron is the backbone of mankind and its civilization – in our machines, in our houses, in our weapons. It is also there as the core of the earth, and it is also there in blood that runs in our veins.

26 is also the number of letters of Latin alphabets, without which there will be very little ideas to communicate.

26 is, quite simply, what moves our world. And so when you think that this year is just another year, you may miss its importance to your life.

In fact, 26 in itself is not just a boring number. It is the only solution for Fermat's sandwich theorem. Named after the great mathematician, Pierre Fermat, who was the first to prove that 26 is the only number between a perfect square number (25, which is 5^2) and a cube (27, which is 3^3).

You can count from 1 to infinity, and you would find that 26 – and only 26 – is uniquely sandwiched between a square and a cube. And so is this year may not like any other in your life.

You know, N, things are actually getting a bit more interesting if you mix numbers with the words of God. YHWH – the name of biblical God – for instance, turns into 26 when you assign it using gematria. (Yod is 10, Waw is 6, and He is 5 each. So together 10 + 5 + 6 + 5 makes 26.)

But I like this one better: if you search at Greek Strong's Concordance, the 26th entry is ἀγάπη – agape, which means love.

So may your 26th birthday be full of Godly blessing, and be full of love.

Happy birthday, N.


With love, A.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

shhh... may i borrow your lighter, sir?
___~

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