I’m certain that standing on the border between order and chaos is a good idea. You have to be encountering enough uncertainty as you can voluntarily tolerate.
Jordan Peterson, Interview with Dr Iain McGilchrist
Every single thing, including the mountain behind my house, which is billions of years old, if you were able to take a time lapse camera you would see the thing morphing and changing and flowing. Everything flows, as Heraclitus said, it’s just a matter of the time period.
Dr Iain McGilchrist, Interview with Jordan Peterson
You and I.
In that cosmic time lapse we are flowing too. From birth to death. I have slipped into middle-age, and push on towards late middle age. My eyesight fades. My skin weathers. At night, in the evening, I read books to Eleanor and Rosamund, and – when they are not looking – I see them grow, almost before my eyes, before my eyes they take on the form just ahead for them: fresh, and smooth, and supple.
Culture flows. The great wash of what you can and can’t do; how you should and shouldn’t behave. The whole vocabulary of our brains realigns over generations, across millennium, to accept or reject, to hold or push away whoever or whatever is right or wrong in the power structure of the day. We swim with or against, but we’re in it. The culture of our time. Buoyed, drained, exhilarated or drowned.
Standing on the border between order and chaos is a poetical turn of phrase. A good place to be? A creative place at least. Straddling the garden wall between Eden and Nod or, maybe, the moment of indecision after the serpent’s last word, and the bite into the fruit. Sometimes feeling certain of your ideas and beliefs and sometimes having them overturned and thrown into disarray. Build them again. Watch them turn to dust again. The exhausting business of making yourself continually. The flow of self and belief within us, informed by our body’s path, the paths of our friends and foes, the society we live in.
A Tale for the Time Being.
Jiko looked out across the ocean to where the water met the sky. “A wave is born from deep conditions of the ocean,” she said. “A person is born from deep conditions of the world. A person pokes up from the world and rolls along like a wave, until it is time to sink down again. Up, down. Person, wave.” I was still thinking about what she said about waves, and it made me sad because I knew that her little wave was not going to last and soon she would join the sea again, and even though I know you can’t hold on to water, still I gripped her fingers a little more tightly to keep her from leaking away.
A hundred billion waves rose and fell and no one saw.
The sound of the sea breaking on the shore at night. The rotation of Jupiter in its orbit around the sun. The cicada in the heat. The folded laundry.
Where is the becoming of myself going?