Joe’s Chaos Theory

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Whether readers understand Chaos Theory or not, the most impressive aspect of this piece below is that the poem “Home is so Sad” is along for the ride as the theory is discussed.  Instead of molding his discussion around the poem and its aspects, Joe sees a connection to Chaos Theory and runs with it.  He doesn’t ask permission or try to prove that Chaos Theory and the poem inhabit some shared space on a Venn Diagram.  Joe just writes and produces a cohesive and compelling piece. ~JY

Home is so Sad


Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back.  Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide.  You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Philip Larkin

Chaos Theory

Many great minds have made the attempt at achieving world peace, seeing it as a optimal state.  It would be amazing if everything could be at peace, if everything could be perfect, if everything worked together the way we want.  However, life itself is repelled to this idea.  It’s very nature forces it away from peace, making world peace seem near impossible.  The chaos theory is what makes this impossible.  The chaos theory states that over time, things will naturally fall into chaos rather than order. Such as if someone were to place five pebbles next each other in a line, and then return to these rocks one year later, they would most likely be scattered about, unlikely still in that line, and least likely balanced in a tower one atop each other.  And yet, every day, people tend to fight this theory, especially within their homes, as Philip Larkin describes in his poem, “Home is so Sad”.

When at home, people tend to turn into creatures of organization.  Within their own house, each person knows where things are placed.  Each item is given its own location, such as “The music in the piano stool.” becomes expected to be there, and when it is not one tends to place it back there (10). Homes become a location of organization; our own piece of world peace and order.  When one leaves home, they have things in an order or in their places throughout the house, and they are expected to stay that way until one’s return.  It is mankind’s comfort to know their home will not turn to chaos while out.  It is our base to begin our seemingly never-ending struggle against chaos  “A joyous shot at how things ought to be, / Long fallen wide” (7-8). One is given peace of mind to know they can leave their book upon an end table, only to have it in the exact same place when they come home. With this, home peace is  achievable, through little struggle.  World peace however is not so possible.

Hurricanes, storms, winds, fires, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other such natural disasters are so aptly named.  They are natural. The way nature works brings these disasters which cause major setbacks in the fight against chaos.  Mankind likes its order, its named streets, coordinates, cities, blocks, and neighborhoods.  People want everything to have a place, somewhere it belongs. Nature, on the other hand, dislikes this concept greatly.  Nature would have everything scatter and fall where it does.  If man wants world peace, then first man would need to find a “cure” for nature, a “cure” against the natural way of chaos.  This does not sound like a practical approach, and therefore world peace seems just as impractical.  Man’s best attempt is to simply balance out the chaos theory by creating order.  There is little hope to completely overcome the chaos theory, but mankind can be the counterbalance to create a half peaceful world.

Photo credit: Usually Melancholy via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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