The world is a very odd place sometimes. My place in it is put into question quite often. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have no ‘place’ at all. Last night I watched ‘Before sunrise’ and I realised that the innocence and certainty of youth simply morphs into cynicism, then into holding onto simple convictions that a career and money, perhaps even family will give life purpose. Then in fact, the circle completes itself again by returning you to a resigned innocence that perhaps, just perhaps, the world is as wonderful and magical as you thought it was when you were an innocent child. The word ‘journey’ gets banded about quite a lot, but perhaps that’s what it is.
Writing about the simple things that I see in the world around me is a way for me to find meaning. It isn’t The Answer, but it makes some sense of what can often seem to be chaos in its purest form. The things we assume to be controlled turns out to actually be completely out of any sort of order. There is chaos everywhere if you look hard enough. The task of turning from the safer way of perceiving order and deliberately inviting chaos into my life is a tricky one. But if there is a wasp in the room, I’d rather be able to see it. If I can be hit by chaos at any time, then perhaps it’s best to have been looking at it squarely, honestly, before it can take me by surprise.
And I get to see quite exquisite order and form along the way. In the chaos of a rainy, dingy winter’s morning, where I’m caked in mud and so is the dog, there’s rain going everywhere; down my neck, up my nose, through my ears, I’m slipping everywhere, and I’m really not feeling all that wonderful, my attention will be drawn upwards by the sound of honking geese in their unmistakable formation. Here, amongst the trudge and mundane, is beauty. I can pause for a second in my slipping and chaotic progress through the mud and look up. For a second I’m released from the world and I soar with powerful wings to somewhere far beyond here and far more bewildering than my small perception of this life has yet perceived.
When I was a single mum, my parents once came round to look after the girls, just so I could go for a bike ride and I could travel in a straight line for a change. My role is still so often meandering and repetitive, certainly not straightforward. Chaotic within the perception of an ordered day. But, having looked straight at the wasp and known of its existence, perhaps I feel more at peace with it within my life, meeting it head on.