We are invested in being together. In having friends. In joining our lives. And yet these are the people who also fail you. And when they fail you in these ways, it signals a larger understanding about who you are as a black person in the world. It's not just a little failure for me. Its something exposed.
When you're running a company, you have employees - lots of them - that can interrupt your schedule. You have customers that can interrupt your schedule. You have a certain obligation to wave the flag because people expect to get out and wave the flag. The number of ways that others can command your time is high. At this stage, I get to pick and choose a little more. Not that there aren't some things that have to be done, but I get a little more control over my time.
. . . the hey-day of a woman's life is on the shady side of fifty, when the vital forces heretofore expended in other ways are garnered in the brain, when their thoughts and sentiments flow out in broader channels, when philanthropy takes the place of family selfishness, and when from the depths of poverty and suffering the wail of humanity grows as pathetic to their ears as once was the cry of their own children.
When you feel depressed, it helps to actively change your environment. Go and do something different. Martin Luther conquered his depression by going outside to work in his garden. Surprisingly enough, one of the best ways to handle depression is to go to work immediately on the task you least enjoy. (The chances are your depression is caused by guilt feelings arising out of neglect of those tasks. )
The common sense of the word (navy) as we use it today refers to a permanent fighting service made up of ships designed for war, manned by professionals and supported by an adminsistrative and technical infrastructure. A navy in this sense is only one possible method of making war at sea, and by some way the most difficult and the most recent. There have in the past been, and to some extent still are, many other ways of generating sea power.
The mathematical question is "Why?" It's always why. And the only way we know how to answer such questions is to come up, from scratch, with these narrative arguments that explain it. So what I want to do with this book is open up this world of mathematical reality, the creatures that we build there, the questions that we ask there, the ways in which we poke and prod (known as problems), and how we can possibly craft these elegant reason-poems.