Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jason Statham Is Not Coming to Dinner

No. Jason Statham Is Not Coming to Dinner

What Does Jason Statham Have to Do with
Fibonacci Numbers, Java, and Orchids?

I won the Powerball lottery! I found a grape-sized ruby while gardening! Treasure Shores Beach finally earned its name when I spied a fist-sized clump of gold hidden in a rock just washed onto the sand! Jason Statham is coming to dinner!
My kids think any or of all of the above when they hear the thrill in my voice, see the sparkle in my eyes, and watch my little feet do the joy dance. Disappointment clouds their faces when I announce: “It bloomed! My orchid bloomed! Come see!”
Faking a smidgen of enthusiasm for my sake (yet more often not even acknowledging my delight), they might say, “Oh . . . that’s . . . nice.” I know they’re really thinking: “What’s the big deal? It’s a flower.”

A flower, but not just any flower—an orchid. I have no expertise regarding orchids. The one whose face thrilled me on Thursday is white, with hints of pale green. It’s probably one of thousand of dendrobiums; that’s all I know. I do know orchids take months—sometimes years—to bloom, and when they do, each one reveals a startling world within it. My heart falls into those worlds and sappy as it sounds, I am filled with joy.
Boredom, lack of interest, befuddled. Some folks feel this way about my particular thrills. However, because of that response, I try harder to understand and even embrace what brings others joy.
“I see Fibonacci numbers in the trees,” is a quote that helps me appreciate the diversity of what thrills people. A math lover, my friend’s daughter sees and feels its presence everywhere. I have no idea what a Fibonacci number is or even if I’ve spelled it correctly here, but I get it. I’m often moved emotionally in the same way, although by different things.

Do you see a Fibonacci number? I don't.

A well-known woman in the programming world once spoke to me about the elegance in code. Java is much easier to spell than Fibonacci, but I confess I have no clue what she means. I try to imagine it as the difference between frayed, cut-off blue jeans, ratty tennis shoes Java code and Java code like Audrey Hepburn dressed in a lovely gown after she learns to say, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

public class HelloWorld {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello, World");
Elegant? Java is its own world to some people,
but it doesn't make much sense to me.

Fibonacci numbers, Java code, and orchids make for an odd triangle at first look. Taking a second look, perhaps they aren’t such peculiar triplets. Common to each angle is the spark of joy, the thrill experienced by noticing it, bringing it into one’s life, and embracing it.
Each of us has an angle of joy, fleeting though it might be. It’s unlikely that I’ll dance around the house all day from seeing my orchid blooms. I also imagine that even the Fibonacci numbers dissolve at times and the trees become trunks and limbs and leaves. Java code must sometimes be mundane for even the most enlightened programmer; some days are for blue jeans only. It’s the moments of Java elegance, Fibonacci numbers in trees, and a white orchid bloom revealing its world that are important—to notice, to pause and live, and to realize that joy can be finding treasure in our life, wherever that may be.
But Jason Statham coming to dinner would probably trump a blooming orchid almost any day.

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