Bridges (part 2)

So… I’ve run into a bit of a snag. Last night I woke up feeling feverish and my tummy was not at all happy. It seems that I’ve come down with some sort of stomach virus, and so I’ve been resting in my hotel room all day 😦 I’m hoping and praying that I’ll feel better by tomorrow and be able to re-engage with conference activities. I’m also hoping and praying that I’ll feel well enough to spend some time collaborating with Enrico Le Donne, one of the math faculty members here at the University of Jyväskylä. But, we’ll see how it goes. Like I said in my previous post, I’ve been praying that God will shepherd me through this trip (in the sense of Psalm 23). He blessed me to arrive on schedule, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first day of the conference, but now I’m sick. How should I respond to this? Has God suddenly stopped listening to my prayers? I don’t think it is necessary to reach this conclusion. This situation reminds me (in some small way) of what Job said to his wife when she encouraged him to “curse God and die” in the midst of his suffering. He asked rhetorically, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In other words, I should submit to God’s providence whether it is pleasant or unpleasant from my limited perspective. I don’t know God’s motivation in allowing me to get sick during this trip, but I do believe in Romans 8:28. I believe that God works all things together for good to those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. So, I’m trusting that God will help me learn to be more like Jesus while I process the disappointment of traveling 4500 miles in order to sit alone in my hotel room and convalesce.

At any rate, the first day of the conference was fun. My favorite presentation was delivered by Rinus Roelofs. He creates sculptures of “elevations” of Platonic and Archimedean polyhedra. The idea is that you add pyramids with equilateral sides to each face of the original solid. Rinus is fond of then cutting holes through the corners of these elevations and interlacing the outer and inner layers of the elevation. It’s much easier to look at some pictures than to read my description. Here are a few. In fact, the opening ceremony for Rinus’ exhibit here in Jyväskylä is tonight. But I’m sick and won’t be able to make it… 😦

I also thoroughly enjoyed exploring the art exhibit at this year’s conference. I am struck by the way in which certain pieces take on a whole new life in person (in comparison with their online representation). There are some very nice pieces on display. For example, the work of Kurt Kaminski is very nice in person. Nick Mendler also has some nice pieces in the show.

Meeting new people is also one of my favorite parts of this conference. For instance, yesterday I became acquainted with Reilly Smethurst from Brisbon, a PhD student in musical composition. He has an interest in non-standard tuning methods introduced by the likes of Heinz Bohlen. Here is the paper he presented this morning at Bridges.

Oh, and one other fun fact – one of my pieces ended up on the cover of the exhibit catalogue. Yay!

I do hope to have more to say by the end of tomorrow. There are quite a few more presentations I’d like to attend. We’ll see how things go.