I was talking with a friend about an hour ago, regarding an article that someone else had posted concerning how – theoretically – if one were to consider structures in nature as ‘order’ (the natural order of things in a system) then attempts by humans to impose their own concepts or systems of ‘order’ upon natural structures by other means (by sorting, categorizing, or classifying) is therefore a form of ‘disorder,’ because such imposition is creating artificial (unnatural) systems:
I ❤ this graphic. Artificial order imposed upon systems *is* chaos because they’re useless to anybody BUT those utilizing the artificial order system.
To the greater system itself? It’s meaningless. Piles? Columns? Sorting by type? That’s all concessions to the limitations of our cognitive systems.
Sure, our cognitive systems are natural too – even the artificial/natural distinction isn’t “quite” right.
But in the greater scheme, the one where humans are optional, those piles and sorting is chaotic and meaningless.
I’d never thought of order or disorder as being defined this way, and yet, I have been thinking of the relation between the concepts of ‘order’ and ‘disorder’ a lot lately. It began, as most things do, with a simple conversation in a Rokkatru group concerning someone’s UPG of the Aesir representing ‘order’ and ‘civilization’ in the cosmos while the Rokkr represent ‘nature’ and a ‘natural sort of disorder.’ Of course, there was discussion of how nature has its own sense of ‘order’ – but how, from the point of view of ‘civilization,’ nature’s sense of order is random and therefore, considered by civilization to be ‘disorder.’ As well, others discussed the concepts of open and closed systems and how a closed system eventually falls apart because it can’t self-sustain and whatnot, and things quickly became rather meta.
And being a Rokkatru group, of course, this discussion wound its way towards discussion of Ragnarok, and the role of Loki, Fenrir, and Surtr in bringing on the end of the world. The world is a closed system and the role of the Rokkatru is to bring about the destruction of this closed system in order to make way for a new (and perhaps more open) system.
And so, it’s odd but not surprising to me that that conversation gave me a headache…because chaos theory usually does.
But then, there I was again tonight, having a conversation about order and disorder again, but this time, it was on a smaller scale.
I was talking to my friend about how Loki has laughed at me concerning my OCD need to arrange the items in a specific configuration on His altar, or my habit of overthinking that is a hallmark of my social anxiety, or my inability to let things go and/or trust the process.
I have no problem admitting that I am sort of control freak regarding several aspects of my life and practice. And my friend agreed that she has some of those issues too.
And then, she said a funny-strange but interesting thing that hit me like a ton of bricks:
She said that her life as a child was hellish and the only way that she could have control over her environment was to draw. The only world that she could control could be found at the end of a pencil. So she drew pictures and created stories. She created worlds. She told me how Loki told her that her best artwork seemed to come when she experienced personal turmoil. How He has asked her why she would draw, and she told Him it made her happy. But the truth was that she was often unhappy/angry/miserable while drawing. (And, of course, He noticed that.)
Well, that reminded me of my own artistic coping strategies.
Honestly, I suppose that it’s nothing new, but I wrote and drew my way through a miserable childhood…and adolescence…and fuck, I *still do.*
And yeah, that realization, of how I tried to make sense of confusing experiences by filling up notebooks, and drawing my imaginary friends, and how much it shocks me to think that it wasn’t just me being escapist.
That art was …that art is a rather dysfunctional coping mechanism for me.
I don’t make money with it.
It doesn’t make me happy.
Things still pile up in my head, and writing them, drawing them doesn’t serve to make me any more sane or stable.
And it sure as hell doesn’t help me or my loved ones to understand me any better than before.
It’s just another method I hide behind. (Funny -autocorrect suggests that the word ‘method’ should actually be ‘met God’ over and over. No, I’ve never met God by writing or drawing. Psht. I should be living.)
Perhaps my incessant writing and drawing are what I do to keep myself from meaningfully engaging with others.