Chaos is not disorder. Chaos is order so precise and sensitive that the slightest misstep at the start sends us far from where we intended to be.
Water is, as it tumbles over rocks and flows between our fingers, a creature of chaos. And so is life.
We drift along, pulled between rapids and brief moments of pause, seconds of tranquility that split time into austere fractions that enclose us and confine us. Solutions (and the problems they supposedly solve) seem suddenly clear, and then the water draws us away, and once more we are left without recourse and direction.
My phone is Harel’s when we’re together: He has an eye for angles and alignment more than I ever will. He snapped this picture in a plaza in Queretaro, and it’s still one of my favorite photos of all times–the color balance, the simplicity, its subtle complexity.
He also has a fondness for statuary. We once went to a natural history museum and he wandered off while I tried to read a lengthy description of Greek and Roman deities (it was in Spanish, but my familiarity with Greco-Roman mythology allowed me to piece together its meaning). By the time we drifted back together, he had taken pictures of literally every statue in the exhibition hall. Seriously. Each and every one of them.
I have a bad habit of taking too many pictures to remember something and then realizing later, as I look at my pictures, that they don’t really, can’t ever capture the moment like I had wanted them too, and instead of living it more fully, I had lost myself in the momentum of trying to catch it in pixels.
When Harel takes my camera, it’s hard to get lost in something I can’t have–somehow it frees me to be more present in the moment. And when I finally look back through my camera roll, I get to glimpse the experience through his eyes–what were the things that caught his attention, that drew his gaze, that made it memorable for him?
Even now, looking at the pictures he took for me, for us, it makes me feel closer to him.
Sometimes I want and sometimes I need and sometimes all I can do is smolder. I once wrote a poem (and it later became the first I’d ever perform) called “Waiting for Exposition“:
It’s like watching fireworks being / launched into the sky / on the Fourth of July. / I know well enough to expect / explosions // … // I know I’m no firework / no explosive / no lightshow / yet I still feel the fuse / burning down my crown like kundalini / I can feel the altitudes fall around me / as I soar higher from this drug that / sane people call oxygen and / psychiatrists call life.
Before I got caught up on a chocolate high yesterday, I mentioned coffee has somehow become a staple of the ASB trip I’m going on. Now, I know you all know of my persistent, practically lifelong love of tea, but I have a confession: I had coffee the other day, and I liked it.
I know. Really. I couldn’t believe it myself.
So it only seems fitting I celebrate coffee for today.
In two days the month will change from October to November when the clock strikes midnight and National Novel Writing Month will begin–and it’ll also be time for me to re-evaluate my goals for another month. November is oft a time of intense chaos, and not just because of NaNoWriMo, so I figured I’d cheat fate and make this early as opposed to late.
I’ll begin at square one: My goals for this month.
I am proud to say I have successfully surpassed half the year in keeping my annual goals–or what others might have called their New Year’s Resolutions. I sometimes wonder how many other people have kept at their yearly goals this long, but then I remember my success isn’t measured against theirs–it’s measured against mine.
This past month has been wildly successful in some areas–transcribing my math notes, blogging, driving, and exercising–wildly non-observant in others–namely journalling–and rather lax in a few–such as drinking water. I’ve done it, I know I have, but I haven’t kept track of how much, so it’s hard to say if I met my goal or not.
This month, I’m adding to my goals–and disbanding some others.
Last week I wrapped up the chapter on show and tell–now I have a better feel for showing, telling, and being aware of when I know something that doesn’t quite make it to the reader. This next chapter covers the oft-feared topic of points of view.
It’s not just the way you see the story–it’s who’s telling it.
Last year I made some miserable mistakes in making my goals: There were too many and they were too broad. I had no way to measure my success or to celebrate small victories along the way. One good thing I did was post them here–that gave me an audience who would witness my shortcomings if I failed to achieve my goals. Then again, I didn’t check back on them enough–and that’s got to changes, too.
Anyways, today starts the new year. And with the new year comes new goals for myself, new endeavors, and new opportunities.
Life’s like a box of chocolate. Life’s like flying a kite. Life’s like a ladder. An adventure. A roller coaster. The metaphors are endless (and the metaphors are similes while we’re at it). Whether we don’t know what we’ve got till we take a bite, whether we’ve caught the wind or we’re falling from afar, whether we’re climbing over a precarious angle, forging forward to a new frontier, or simply riding the world through a series of ups and downs and one too many loops than any of us wants to go through, life’s got a lot to give us.
This post marks my two hundredth post as the Writingwolf.
My life through this point has encapsulated each of these ideas, but these last few days, they’ve been one of the wildest rides I’ve ever ridden on. Let’s just say I made it around the turn alright.