Sunday 12 February 2012

Three things...

Three things eh?  I typed that last line and thought about it. Three. Not one, not two, not four, not seven.  Three. Tree. Trois. Tre. Tres. Trzy. Tri. Tris. Drei and so on and so third.  Okay, so there are variations on Kolm too but hey…
Three is the first – first odd prime, first Fermat prime, first Mersenne prime (what’s a Mersenne prime?). It’s the first lucky prime. It’s a triangle. It’s the fifth Fibonacci number and the third that is unique.

In gematria the number three is represented by the Hebrew letter gimel symbolising a person in motion; the running of the rich to the poor, the full to the empty. Gimel derives from gemul, the giving of reward as well as punishment. Freedom of choice. The run and return of the soul between its divine source and its physical abode. The expansion and contraction of Infinite Light in the process of Creation. A camel, a bridge, benevolence. Weaning – becoming independent.

And I pondered and wandered further looking at three in anatomy, in chemistry, in biology, in physics, in anthropology, in music, in art, in astronomy. Three spatial dimensions (or so they say we perceive).  Religion, of course. The trinity triangulating through so many faiths. Dante’s Divine Comedy in homage – three parts, thirty-three cantos, written in terza rima (a combination of tercets).  Damnit, I learned (modern) Italian in order to be able to read this in its original (medieval) Italian. And I never got to Paradiso. L

But, hey, the third time’s the charm.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. The Power of Three. But then again, ‘The third light’ (three lights from one match and *bang*, you’re dead. Bad luck comes in threes. 

Ah, whatever. On the count of three…
Three colours. Three evils. The Three Stooges. Three of a kind. Where three dreams cross.  Three blind mice. Three little pigs. Three witches. Three wishes.

And at that point I got dizzy with words and looked for images. Put in three things to Google and, my, so many threes…
And it seems like everyone thinks three different things are important:

Sincerity. Hard work. Compassion. Or, slight variation: Sincerity. Hard work. Commitment.

Hope. Peace. Honesty.

Love. Family & friends. Kindness.

Time. Words. Opportunity.

Love. Friends. Self-confidence.

Success. Dreams. Fortune.

Chalk. Hairspray. Athletic type.  Huh??

What do you think? If you had three words by which to live your life, what would they be?

I rather liked this quote that popped up as I wandered. ‘There are only three things you need to let go of: judging, controlling, and being right.’ Hugh Prather.

And I wondered about my three words. What would they be?
And I came back again to the bible quote from Corinthians (1; 13:13) – yeah, those threes again, huh?

“For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.”

By the way, historians reckon that, in many early societies, they just gave up counting after two. They went, ‘One, two…er, lots, many’.  So..who knows? Maybe not just three things. J

And, while I was writing this, three songs (of course) on my iPod (and, b the way, I never cheat...not with this, not with most things.)  Except...damnit...they're not on YouTube...apart from this one.  So just the one then.


Rob-bear said...

Three is, indeed, an interesting number. Intriguing. Fascinating. So full of potential.

This, back to back with the death of Whitney Houston. Also intriguing, fascinating, and fully of potential — lost.

Sessha Batto said...

Three is the magic number for me. My OCD revolves around multiples of three, after all. Three words though, hmmm - that is a challenge but I'd have to say compassion, acceptance and strength are mine.

Rachel Selby said...

Three brings stability (think bike/trike, stool, tripod). Three is an heir, a spare, and a daughter to look after you in your old age. Three means there's always a choice. Three words say I love you. If my favourite number weren't 4, it might be 3.

Fennie said...

Am I spoiling this? Being the fourth commenter? Three's nice; four's a crowd. (Perhaps - I know usually it is said about two and three, but here we are four). Still without three however would we bridge the gap between two and four? Which are numbers better loved in nature. We have four fingers and two eyes, one nose, but five toes - unless a Pobble. We are bilaterally symmetrical (so long as you don't look inside). No created monster is trilaterally symmetrical. A triangular monster - with an eye on each face. Even the pyramids have four sides. Janus has two faces, to look forward and back. Why not three - which would be more useful - to be able to study past, present and future at the same time? Literature would become much more complicated - tragedy, comedy and docudrama. Perhaps.

Exmoorjane said...

@Bear - Yup, it is, isn't it? The more you look, the more you find. I confess I knew very little about Whitney Houston but any premature death is a sad loss of potential.

@Sessha - I didn't know you had OCD! How did I miss that? Now intrigued. Yeah, those words fit you beautifully... I'd add a few more - courage, warmth, wholeheartedness, beauty, love. xx

@Rachel - Interesting. Not as stable as four though (having watched a three-wheeled car in Top Gear!). Grin to the children analogy.. Yes to the choice. And, oh my, how could I miss the three words? I only really love odd numbers. :)

@Fennie - how could you ever spoil anything? Now you and Rachel have got me obsessing about four. :)

Zoë said...

Don't know why, but this is the three that came in my mind reading this:

Today, Tomorrow, Forever.

Sessha Batto said...

I'm sure you would have noticed if you knew me in person, Jane. A phrase will grab hold of my brain and I'll sit and count the letters, and syllables, then rearrange it subtly until it equals 12 . . . or better yet 24 - which you can tap count in 1s, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12s - and I pattern objects as well - lining them up to make squares or circles - I can't sit at a table in a restaurant without lining up all the tableware and condiments to my satisfaction ;) Thankfully i no longer obsessively check things like the oven and door locks - THAT really put a kink in my day. This I can multi-task through.