Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello the Unsuspecting:

Entropy. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you’ve experienced it.

It’s the tendency for every system in the universe to move from order to disorder. That’s right. In spite of our best efforts, everything around us is disorganizing (like that’s a surprise to any Mom). Physicists describe it one way, philosophers another. Yeats described it with particular eloquence “things fall apart; the center cannot hold: Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...”

My home is like the summer house of entropy...the place it retires to on weekends when the serious randomness has been taken care of... a house in Kansas, lifted by floodwater, is teetering in a tree, a doghouse in Australia has been destroyed by a small meteorite, and in a galaxy far away two planets have collided.

Entropy visits in irksome ways.For example, I have a system in my bathroom for keeping tooth related bathroom objects (paste, floss, brushes) in a special white container. Hair related objects (brushes, combs, clips etc) belong in a blue container. No one else in the home seems to understand or believe in my system and so, over time, hair objects and tooth objects make their way into the wrong boxes.

Eventually I find a toothbrush and hair brush in the same enclosed space. It’s disorderly...PLUS it’s gross.

I take issue with entropy. I am constantly at war with unmade beds, piles of shoes, unsorted socks. (NOTE: Socks and entropy have a “special” relationship with the time/space continuum that cannot be brought down. This makes it possible for a sock that disappeared from the laundry pile three years ago to randomly reappear, say, in the refrigerator, on a Thursday in May just two days after I FINALLY give up and toss its lonely mate in the trash. Tell me it hasn’t happened at your house. Please.

However, I have a friend, Kathleen Ralph, who is a brilliant artist. She’s currently on a mission to send a piece of original art to anyone in the world who asks for one.

Her work and her projects are inspiring. She’s busy mailing out small pieces of beauty while I collect dryer lint. She paints while I make sure all the videos are in the right cases.

What I find most amazing about Kath is that she doesn’t give a pahoot about entropy. It lives in her house like another well loved and happily accepted family member. She doesn’t rant about it or try to overcome it...because she’s too busy painting.

That’s why she’s finishing up piece after piece of postcard art... and I’m still working on the same book I started YEARS ago. At the time of writing, Kathleen has made art for 304 consecutive days. It’s a safe bet that I’ve made beds every one of those days. But no one reads my beds, no one hangs them on a wall...and no one is inspired by the “hospital corner” style folds at the foot-ends of the bed. That said, if Martha Stewart drops in, I’m golden.

So...this week I resolve to write one page before I wipe those little pee drips off the rim of the toilet bowl. I resolve to write one page before I figure out whether the green stuff in the fridge is animal or vegetable, or before I wash the dog’s dishes (he eats poop for crying out loud, what does he care about the state of his dishes).

I’ll suck something out of me before I suck something out of the carpet on the stairs.

I’ll power through one page before I power through a bike or swim or run. Just one page.

Piss off entropy. You won’t miss I kind of like it when I find socks in the fridge. It’s like Christmas, only weirder.

Bless you (even if you didn't sneeze). Pass it on (to the guy who picked your nose in traffic...I know it's hard, do it anyway).

Rock... like there's nobody rollin'


To check in on Kathleen Ralph and her work:

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Entropy is a wonderful and frightening feels so good to combat it, even for a short time (those bathrooms just don't stay clean, even for a second!).

    On the other hand, perhaps entropy's real place in our lives should be only after friends & family, and activities we love. "We're #3! We're #3!"