Inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:
"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious." - Henry David Thoreau
I've long admired Thoreau, and dip into his "Wild Fruit" often, for a way of seeing the world around us that awakens me to detail and depth, a way of thinking about inner and outer worlds as interlaced.
This quote sat. And oddly, what it brought to mind were my first forays into formal math - my first days in school facing chalkboards and sheets with numbers trapped in unnatural rigidity. Standing in straight lines and grid formations, where I could see they were a tumult of energy and colour, like wild animals forced into a circus to perform against their natures. I discussed this issue with my father, but his ordered mathematical mind boggled at my conviction that threes were green. That fours were calm. That sevens and fives knew each other, and were completely untrustworthy, likely to gang up and cause trouble.
A three is a three. Nothing else.
I eventually made peace with these concepts, but was reassured in later years to find the numbers achieved some sort of freedom to express their true natures - eventually.
So in my mind, Thoreau's quote and my early number sense rang in harmony - we cannot prize a three above a seven - or vice versa, nor a lion above a sheep. In context, of course, let them be where they are, and be themselves with all their might.