A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Beauty, order, chaos...
So a group of us are going to do an entry each week on a common theme. One week's theme was a quote by Pearl Buck, "order is the shape upon which beauty depends." What is beauty? Humans have been debating this for thousands of years. Socrates (or maybe Plato, using Socrates as his mouthpiece) was all hyped on the idea of absolute essense. He argued that all we could see, as human beings, was the shadow of the Ultimate Reality. We see things we call beautiful, and in reality they are only reflections, or shadows on a cave wall, of the Real Thing, the Absolute Beauty. There's a damned lot of people in the world who think orderliness is beauty. I lived for a while in a West Texas city where people would plant one row of tulips, each tulip plant spaced an iron 12 inches from the next, in front of boxy yellow brick houses, with a large lawn in front, and nothing else. I must suppose, since this style of garden decor was quite common, that many people thought it was pretty. I made my rebellion by making sure I regularly drove by the house that had an English cottage garden in front. Mr. Omegamom's rebellion was to transform our boxy little duplex's teeny tiny yard--a patch of desolate dirt with lumps and valleys and a few tiny clumps of hardy grass growing here and there when we arrived--into a luxurious lawn surrounded by oodles of wildflowers. To me, there's a vast amount of beauty in what seems like wild chaos. Give me a vast thunderstorm, with winds whipping to and fro, and I feel invigorated, thrust into the moment, alive, in touch with Where The Wild Things Are. (Different styles: Mr. Omegamom gets rip-roaring headaches from wind, so it doesn't make him feel alive. It makes him feel grumpy.) Or take astronomical objects...to me, whirling clusters of gas illuminated by newborn stars awake awe and a breathless feeling. This, my heart says, is beauty! These look shapeless, chaotic, disorderly. But when you get right down to it, there is order at the heart of these things. It may not be order we can pinpoint as yet. Start with fluid dynamics...delve into fractals...and at the base, there are atoms--electrons whirling around neutrons in nice tidy orbits. Or do they? You learn a wee tad about quantum physics, and get told that those "nice, tidy orbits" are actually a quantum fuzziness, an approximation of where the electrons are. Disorderly once again. But dig deeper--and you get into quarks. Charm, up, down, strange, top, bottom. And they start behaving very weirdly. Is there order down there? Or does it all dissolve into a chaos of uncertainty? While I ponder this question, I think I will go raid the freezer and get some Dibs. (lovely little ice cream morsels covered with chocolate--now that is beauty!) Photos: Plato--Timothy Bays' website, University of Notre Dame; Thunderstorm--LotsofCo.org; Nebula--FreeDesktopWallpapers.ru Categories: [This 'n That] [Group Work]
posted by Kate @ 8/23/2005 07:18:00 PM  
  • At 8/28/2005 11:20:00 PM, Blogger CDR said…

    Great entry! =)

  • At 5/08/2006 12:34:00 AM, Blogger google nut said…

    I just happened upon your blog and it's proven to be quite interesting. I run a garden statue website at http://www.bigchimes.com and I have some deals you may find interesting this spring. I will return often to your blog and check out your new posts. Good luck and keep it going!

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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