Out of Chaos, Order


Structure–even frail and fragile and failing structure–seems preferable to sudden and complete disorder. The center does not hold. The old logic is suddenly devoid of common understanding. Change for its own sake yields a horrible tsunami of ambiguity and chaos where we could once see our way to the next thing.

I’m staring at this sun-through-the-pines image from a rest stop somewhere in Kentucky on Sunday, looking for what it might say to me in yet another hour of traction-less spinning in the sand of current events.

And I think about a conversation last night that reached two conclusions: certainly our world is going to be rocked by internal national forces the majority has set in place; and it will be rocked–perhaps much sooner than we had thought–by forces our species has set in place and has perpetuated and soon accelerates, even after we knew we could not treat this place with arrogance and indifference in the face of inconvenient truths.

And to those two quaking shocks the consensus of response was: maybe this stark polarity is what we needed to see more clearly what we must do. Maybe this cataclysmic disordering shines a light for us in those dark places in a way that less pernicious and outrageous convulsions never would.

Maybe out of chaos comes cosmos. It has happened before.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Time to use this amazing energy to grab hands with neighbors, friends and nature to create our own little vortexes of light.

  2. Fred, in order to keep our left leaning brains from running totally off the rails we should probably keep in mind that it only took a little over a quarter of eligible voters to bring about this result. And, the only place that Trump won a majority was in the Electoral College.. no matter what you see on Facebook, he doesn’t have a majority of the votes.

  3. My hope, exactly.
    Let me run this idea by you. Please show me all the holes in my reasoning that you spot. Trump want to help non-urban, struggling America. How about a huge expansion of the small business loan program, accompanied by huge funding for teams of advisors to help each small community,start up an appropriate industry to replace what once was the lifeblood of the town? Republicans would never approve such an expensive idea, but it sounds like trump might. Can you see small towns benefitting from such a program? The current ideas floated and implemented still seem to me to not be able to touch the unemployment of the kinds of folks left in many of the dead and dying towns. They are such a suffering demographic, with no sympathy for their plight in the urban areas, mostly due to ignorance.