Chaos Theory, Part 1: The Entropy of Black & Blue (Dishes)
Energy of the universe is constant. Entropy of the universe tends to a maximum. —Rudolf Clausius, German physicist, mathematician and one of the central founders of the science of thermodynamics
ENTROPY: a measure of disorder in the universe or of the availability of the energy in a system to do work. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.
I broke a dish…Well, actually, I didn’t… Really, I just opened the cupboard and the dishes came pouring out.
A loud cacophony of crashes ensued. Angrily, I looked downward and screamed inarticulately at the floor. Another direct result of my poor household organizational skills and my often disheveled nature, I thought. In that moment, I had no idea why this freak event brought me to that depressive, narcissistic anti-me sentiment, but there it was, unexpected and disruptive, like the mess laid out before me. A feeling of my mother washed over me as I stared at the broken ceramic shards. She was organized. I am not. She was neat. I am not.
As unkempt as some aspects of my mother’s life had been, everything on the surface always had its place.“What the hell?!” were all the words my thoughts could muster. Whomever said motherhood and domestication was a natural, genetically inherited trait was seriously misinformed. Fort maker — yes! Lightsaber battler — bring it on! Dish stacker — thumbs down.
My thoughts drifted to a friend whose mother had just died. We had spoke of our weird shared experiences that weren’t really shared but weren’t mutually exclusive either. Our different mothers wading in this underlying current of “mutual-ness”: mutual sentiment; mutual sadness; mutual self discovery; mutual regret. Regret is such a terrible thing.
Crack! I stepped on one of the shards. My misstep didn’t really hurt, it just brought me back to the floor. It reminded me of the mess that was still there. Kneeling to the ground, I haphazardly started to pick up the taunting ceramic remains.
I got down low, laying my body close to the broken pieces.
I chuckled to myself and began to think, Isn’t this all so very cliché? So cute? So apropos? The words “a beautiful lie” came to mind. I wasn’t sure what the lie was: my perceptions of my mother or my perceptions of myself. Even the random patterns on the floor were deceiving me in their own way. Strong and thick, yet jagged and broken. A few large segments with miniscule bits behind them, surrounding them. Food particles from last night’s dinner added to the debris that was adorning my less than pristine kitchen floor. They looked like mother, or at least mothers as I intimately knew them. I captured it with my camera. After half my life without her, it was what was left. Not really sad, just different, distant, objectified. Her’s and mine.
Debris and strength.
I began focusing on chaos. I began to miss her.
THE ORIGINS OF MOTHER BLUE:
This post was written this past winter shortly after I heard news of the death of a friend’s mother. My crashing dishes and our multiple conversations inspired this true event and in turn this event prompted me to begin writing this blog. It is the beginnings of my entropy and my journey towards extropy.
The photos in this series are called “Black & Blue Mothers (Dishes).”