Becoming an Erdős of the Arts

After almost six weeks in Michigan I have to leave in a few days. As always, I have no idea when I’ll be back. Yes, my brother has exercised his right as an American citizen and petitioned for a Green Card for me, so that soon the whole concept of ‘where is home?’ will change again. But this bitter sweet moment of traveling that means to leave loved ones behind to meet loved ones, it’s always such a moment of reflection – not that my life is a house of mirrors anyway.

That’s probably why my eye got caught yesterday by a call of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for stories. I thought of something and submitted a story, though I’m fairly certain that I’m neither their target audience nor did I strictly stayed on subject. I wont share; not now, maybe later. But I think the work of the foundation important, just as I think it important that people, who have gained influence through their work in any kind of arts, use it for a good end. And so I meant to mention the foundation before I continue with the subject of this post.

Well, it is more a story or an idea, maybe a dream born out a conversation and reflection than something that fits in a subject line. The day before Christmas Eve we were invited for dinner at the home of van Parunak’s. Van, as we all call Mr. van Parunak, was one of my brother’s PhD theses supervisors, was the spark plug behind his immigration to theUSand is his boss. He thinks of my brother as another son, so that it was a given that we would join the beginning of their family’s holiday celebrations.

As the conversation after dinner went on Mrs. Van Parunak turned to me and said that she was surprised that I would know so much about a certain subject. I blushed and silently cursed myself that I had once again overdone the camouflage of my social awkwardness by pouring too many facts on innocent people. My brother remarked “What does she not know about?” It felt like time for an explanation or a defense – that my brain just doesn’t want to shut down, what isn’t nice when you want to sleep). That was when Van said “then you have to do it like Erdős Pál.

Erdős was a Hungarian mathematician, who published more papers than any other mathematician in history – very good and well thought out papers which he wrote in collaboration with hundreds of colleagues. But what he was even more known for was his life style. He found no rest, so he made it a habit to show up at a colleague’s door with his suitcase holding almost all of his possession. He would announce “my brain is open” and usually he would stay long enough to collaborate on a few papers before moving on to the next colleague’s place.

Yep, Erdős was very eccentric and my guess is that he was a complete extrovert, what I am not. He was well-known and the world could make use of his ideas, what I can’t yet claim for me. Therefore, I discarded the idea before –

I spent the six weeks with my brother’s family mainly working on my art project with the recycling books. Many of the pieces I’ve created are now part of the interior design of the house – the typewriter desk holds stationeries, the shelf found a place at the wall, the lamps shed their light for reading… I left my mark and gained new ideas for new projects. Wouldn’t it be fun – a huge, gigantic, humongous, gargantuan challenge, but also fun – to be invited to the next place, live there with the people, learn something, teach something, create something to leave behind and then move on following the next invitation? What a way to see more of the world – becoming an Erdős of the arts. What a thought.

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