Friday, April 13, 2007

Yin Accounting.

I don't know that I've ever mentioned this before, but I work in financial reporting for a fairly large not-for-profit. It was kind of a stretch at first, as when I first started, I couldn't identify an income statement if it jumped up and bit me on the nose. To say that I was intimidated by my colleagues, not to mention upper management, would be an understatement.

After a while (and a few finance courses at the local community college), I became less intimidated (though no less confused) and actually quite fascinated by the universality of some concepts. Take nothingness, for example:

Thirty spokes converge on a single hub,
but it is in the space where there is nothing
that the usefulness of the cart lies.

Clay is molded to make a pot,
but it is in the space where there is nothing
that the usefulness of the clay pot lies.

Cut out doors and windows to make a room,
but it is in the spaces where there is nothing
that the usefulness of the room lies.

Benefit may be derived from something,
but it is in nothing that we find usefulness.

From Victor H. Mair's translation of the Tao Te Ching.

This concept is sometimes called "negative space," I believe, in some visual arts, like painting for example. One way of looking at a musical composition is by imagining sounds as being arranged around silence (see John Cage). Little did I know that I'd be hitting upon this when being asked to do things like designing reports that looked at trends in variances, for example.

Sorry for being gone for so long. Sometimes life throws a succession of curveballs and you have to either duck or take some lumps. I've been doing plenty of both for quite a while, actually.

Hey: speaking of curveballs, I know that earlier this week I was supposed to be a good Bostonian and keep my eye on Matsuzaka (aka Dice-Kay)'s debut, but I ended up being transfixed by that crazy curveball Seattle's new pitcher throws. Wow.

End of Winter

Bare-handed reach
to catch
incoming curve.
Leap higher than you thought you could and

-Eve Merriam

Okay, so we dealt with one Northeaster yesterday, and there's another one predicted for the Marathon weekend. Still, we just had Opening Day, darnit. It's Spring.


Poetry on baseball, gosh darnit. How much better could it get than that?