Geometer

Laying hands on a circle and a quadrant, he brings them into alignment with his eyes. It is as if he is working with a pair of instruments for guiding light. What he holds he sees through and  into and with.

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Slightly eccentric with respect to each other, a body formed of metal and idea and a body formed of flesh and sense have approached, for an instant, and been held steady, for an instant, in a touch. For an instant, they have become a coupled form imposing an ordinance of light which they obey.

 

Source: Louis Van Oeyen, “Champion Jack Johnson at wheel of his 90 horse power Thomas Flyer,” September 6, 1910. Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011649816/. Image cropped and post-processed to restore contrast.

The progress of thought from botany to geometry

“Mathematics is a form of poetry which transcends poetry in that it proclaims a truth; a form of reasoning which transcends reasoning in that it wants to bring about the truth it proclaims; a form of action, of ritual behavior, which does not find fulfillment in the act but must proclaim and elaborate a poetic form of truth.”

— Solomon Bochner, The Role of Mathematics in the Rise of Science (Princeton University Press, 1966) 14.