Glen and I discussed a dream, which lead to a discussion of life, death, heaven, and eternity.
“This (dream) felt like I was going to heaven. Except that I don’t believe in it. It doesn’t really bother me except that it’s forever. When I think about forever, I get upset. Like the Land o’ Lakes butter has that Indian girl, sitting holding a box, and it has a picture of her on it holding a box, with a picture of her on it holding a box. You ever notice that?”
Whether I know it or not at the time, I gave a pretty good definition of Recursion.
The act of recurring; The act of defining an object (usually a function) in terms of that object itself; The calling of a function from within that same function.
To this day, I don’t like indefinite things. As a child, I lived in a house where there were so many unanswered questions. Will Mother be cruel to me today or simply ignore me? Will I see Daddy at all? Why does Mother hate my only friend, Glen? Advanced mathematics, with concepts such as recursion, were simply not in the cards for me. Importantly, another foreign concept was “eternity.” Much like recursion, eternity and forever were concepts that are too vague for my pragmatic younger self. Will eternity help my father stop drinking or cause my mother to be nice to me? No? Don’t need it.
A slightly different version of this post was originally published on Tumblr, December 14, 2010