Order is a way that humans make themselves feel safe from the unknown. If I believe that I can find my keys on the hook in the utility room, then life seems like it’s under my control.
It is not. Have you, for example, ever been able to control the arising of a thought? I haven’t. They simply appear, have a short life, and disappear.
There is no control, and chaos, in general, reigns. Notice how nature strews her goods around. Look at a woods, for example. Thousands of plants complete for the same sunlight, crawling all over each other, leaving detritus in their paths—stumps, branches, what we refer to as weeds, bent-over stalks, dead creature carcasses. In fact, it is that very debris that creates the rich loam for the next generation’s birth. That’s how compost is made.
But in “our” world, the human world that we—mistakenly—separate out from nature, order supposedly rules. Our house design repeats all over our neighborhood. Whole cities have been built on unnatural grids. Gardens are framed with the towering foxgloves in back, the short blooming pansies in front, so each can be seen—all to prevent us from the staggering realization that we have no idea, ever, of what might happen in the next moment. Most people find this so terrifying, they don’t want to contemplate it. It’s why many people are afraid to be alone, be quiet, or sit and do nothing.
I once went on a ten-day vision quest in the natural, emptier disorder of the high desert. Friends shuddered at the thought, said they would not be able to bear it. For me, the chaos I find in nature is a way home, a reminder—a call, even—to relax, let go into the disorderly, wild present moment, where anything is possible, the only place life can unfold.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012