Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Supplementary Angle Relationship Theorem

Okay, bear with me here. Having recently become the at-home manager of Adam's distance learning, I find myself knee deep in geometric proofs, and words I've not used in eons are swirling around in my head. 

So as I'm showering the other morning and the rhythmic sounds of water splashing against tile create a percussive stream for my thoughts, I start to reflect on a project David and I are working on right now.  We've been taking his camera on our daily afternoon walk and photographing willing neighbors on their porches.  When we get home, Dave gets to work editing the photos - making the colors pop, evening the sunlight on faces, framing them for maximum impact.  I sit nearby, mostly working on school work, but also lending the occasional, "too much," in response to his request for feedback on the brightness of this or that.  Absorbed mostly in my own work, I am also at the ready, because I happen to have one ace up my sleeve that Dave doesn't.  He's the Lightroom guru.  I do my work in Photoshop.  And when it comes to removing a house number from these photos, it turns out my skill set is in demand.  Every so often, we switch seats, and I drive.  Once the house number is removed, he takes back over. 

I'd say this project is about 150° him.  In addition to the occasional Photoshop, I am also primarily responsible for putting children at ease while David takes the photographs.  For some reason we can't quite pinpoint, kids don't warm to him quickly (it must be because he played the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), and a frequent result of his attempts at friendliness is that the small child buries their face in a parent's shoulder and refuses to smile.  I also try to keep up with the Facebook alerts tracking who wants pictures on each street as we walk.  So yeah.  150° him.  30° me.

Enter theorem.

So there I am in the shower, thinking about how our skill sets are often adjacent.  I can pick up right where he leaves off, even though I can't do the portion he's responsible for.  Then I started thinking about the word adjacent.  Mathematically.  Adjacent angles and such.  One thought lead to another, and suddenly the word supplementary had wiggled its way into the equation.  And here you have it.

David and I are like the adjacent angles in a parallelogram, which are always supplementary.  They say opposites attract, but opposite angles in a parallelogram are actually congruent.  If we were opposites, and we were both trying to work on the same project, then I'd match his 150° with my own 150°, and we'd be 300°, which is honestly just A LOT.  Or maybe he'd only have 30° to bring to the table, to which I'd add 30°, and we'd have a scant 60° and get nowhere.  But as adjacent angles, if he brings 110°, I bring 70°, and we form one beautiful 180° straight angle. 

And the real beauty is that our roles as either the acute or obtuse angle are anything but static.  Last year, we had the privilege to work together on the Off Broadway Theatre's parody production Hamleton.  Together, we paired recordings of the songs, printed lyrics, and original Hamilton scores to write out the vocal parts of Hamleton and provide a score to the cast.  Then, as music director, I used that written score to teach rhythms and harmonies and bring the songs to life.  Converse to our current photography project, in this case, I brought somewhere around 120°.  For his part, David spent countless hours taking my chicken scratch notes and entering them in the computer.  His perfect pitch worked in conjunction with my ability to quickly jot the rhythms down.  His 60° was often thankless, but anyone involved in the project knew just how important it was.

So there it is, the supplementary angle relationship theorem wherein I over-complicate the fact that being with David is just right.