The poet Stanley Kunitz admonishes our beleaguered spirits to "live in the layers, not on the litter" of life; to focus on the arc of becoming that transcends chaos.
When we see mess, we impute a lack of good order, easily mistaken for random noise. Yet of course the disorder we observe may not be random at all, merely ordered in ways and on paths we do not recognize. Indeed, scientists are always looking for sources of what's called "deterministic chaos," meaning activity that appears haphazard and unpredictable but has originated from initial conditions and "strange attractors" that produce unexpected outcomes.
Even chaos - we suppose - must operate within a vaster reality of ironclad cause and effect, whose drivers may be veiled from us but are presumed to exist. In this sense, to perceive chaos is, more than anything else, to acknowledge our own dim ignorance about what's going on.
And that's why the heavens present an oxymoron, ordered chaos. God's hopelessly fallen wreck of a universe radiates vast waves of tumult, expanding ever outward to infinity, combusting into a trillion unnamed flames or tumbling inexplicably into ten trillion black holes located somewhere between your nose and the farthest imaginable horizon. Even so, the mess seems the outcome of laws unfurling, not of lawless magic or nonsense. Such notions must comfort little creatures such as we.
TITLE - "The Layers"
WHERE - Coquitlam, B.C. (2016)