Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

I think it has been a little bit too long since I've last blogged. As per my timestamps, the last post I made was in May of this year. As I recall it was just as I was heading in DC. I suppose that a lot has happened since then, perhaps nothing meaningful has. Maybe everything meaningful has. Regardless, I thought it was about time for an update.

I was watching television this evening. It was quite a big deal, because I don't really watch all that much television these days, Grey's Anatomy, College Football, and anything Jeff (my roommate) happens to have on. But anyway, I was watching the Comcast local access channel. It was a high school football game between Rochester Adams High School (one of my high school's rivals) and Farmington Hills Harrison (a traditional powerhouse) in high school football.

Now, one thing to add as background is that I'm all about football analogies. The complexities of the game seem to parallel life in general better than most activities. At least more so than badminton, croquet or speed skating. Anyway, back to the story.

So I clicked over to the channel just as the post-halftime kickoff was happening. Harrison high school was down by at least 25 points and were kicking the ball to Adams High to start the third quarter. This kid, fields the ball deep in his own territory. He runs. He cuts outside the right hash...he picks up a block...he picks up some more blocks, and cuts inside...now he has a team ahead of him, one guy to beat and he cuts back inside and then...touchdown. Just like that. It was unbelievable. Less so because of the run (to be honest, it was High School Football and it lacks the elegance that NCAA or NFL football have) but because running a kickoff for a touchdown is pretty impressive, it doesn't really happen that often.

And then consider exactly what it took for that one young man to run the kick back. He had to catch the ball, he had to make the right cut initially, he had to pick up tons of blocks, his teammates had to release off their blocks and march down field in sync with him, then he had to keep running forward, he had to break tackles. Running a kickoff for a touchdown is not simple, quick-strike sort of task. Several layers of decision making have to be in near perfect synchronization. It takes perfect execution of 11 people.

I've thought about this before (naturally, right?), but never to this degree. Lately, I've been thinking about how fleeting relationships are. All sorts of relationships I mean, friendships, marriages, business relationships, teams, fraternities, military alliances, everything. All of these relationships fleeting. When I say that I mean that they are rocky and have lots of variables and can end abruptly, and need to be nurtured. Relationships come and go quickly, or that's their nature. They take much effort to go in the same direction, naturally relationships seem to want to go in their own/opposite direction. That's fleeting.

Yet, we seem to go after them. Because their precious, we are probably relatively skillful at maintaining relationships by the time we are adults, but that doesn't mean that building them is any less glorious. Man, I can't really imagine taking relationships for granted. At least at this point in my life (it will be curious to reflect upon this entry when I'm say...45, if the world doesn't end before then, insallah)

I don't get why relationships are so fleeting, especially when I find them to be so valuable, almost defining even.

Cameron (one of my bros) has been telling me about fluid mechanics. Random, I know. We've been talking about it in the context of engineering (he's obviously the engineer in this duo, ironically). Fluid flow, there's a word for when it's smooth and predictable, I don't remember the term at the moment. When it is smooth, it's very easy to predict the behavior of the fluids. It is stable, it makes sense, it can be modeled.

Then, there's turbulence.

Turbulent flow, is chaotic. It's unpredictably. We've been aware of liquid flow for millenia, but we still no nearly nothing about turbulent flow. We can't model it. We can't really understand why it does...well anything. In a way, turbulent flow is fleeting...it does what it wants, we have little understanding of it. It's a discord in our wannabe harmonious systems, kind of like relationships. Relationships and turbulence, seem pretty analogous, at least in our understanding of them.

Perhaps turbulent, because they're a zero-sum sort of game/commodity? I don't think so though, because that seems to imply that there's a "winner" or supreme beneficiary in relationships, which seems to be dismissed out of hand, or should I?

I don't have a damned clue, hence the title of this blog.

So - Relationships are Fleeting
- Relationships are analogous to turbulence
- I don't really know why any of it matters, or why.

Okay...why are relationships turbulent...
1. Their inputs are people and people are changing constantly, causing uncertainty? - So, we should communicate to undercut uncertainty, okay that seems simple.
2. Relationships are a complex web, so in a resource constrained environment, people have overlapping preferences in relationships so, when they are mapped onto eachother there is conflict (or at least impending conflict) which causes turbulent behavior? - Don't know what to do about this...discover our intentions in relationships and not be greedy? But I feel like we out to be greedy (in a sense, not in the exploitative sense, but in the get fulfilled since) in relationships.
3. I don't really know.

I took a little break and watch some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles on You Tube. But as fate would have it, I ran across a video clip that flies in the face of the other stuff I've written. As with everything around me, things seem to contradict.