I would love to hear your thoughts on “my” river. A river that meets the ocean. She has more than one obstacle to push through before flowing into the sublime. – Fluid Chaos
Dear Delight-filled Fluid Chaos –
What a lovely sight you are. And remarkable:
- Your river is unusually young to be meeting the sea. By the time a stream reaches this level it’s usually a wide collection of many tributaries that have been flowing for a long time from far away. I can tell you are a young old soul.
- You and your river have quite literally gone right through the “obstacles” to get here! But I wouldn’t say you “pushed” – more like melted:
“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.” — Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 78, translated by Stephen Mitchell
- The wide old rivers are generally very flat, slow, and meandering near their mouths. But your movement into the sublime begins with a small straight plunge directly out of the “obstacle” into a turbulent spot, immediately followed by a beautiful laminar flow interspersed with more tiny steps. What happens in that sheet-like laminar flow is amazing — the fluid particles move in parallel layers, each of which has constant velocity but is in motion relative to its neighbors. Pretty fancy stuff.
Like you, researchers in mathematics and physics find that chaos actually can lead to higher levels of order. Science writer Robert Pool paints my favorite image — chaos is order disguised as disorder, a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Your eloquent name for yourself and your river tells me you know this. How over and over in life, catalytic events throw us into turmoil. And how this disorientation can be our most direct line to wonder. Letting that confusion be okay – that’s what allows us to surface from disorder into a resplendent higher order.
- Much of your river’s success is thanks to a reassuring bedrock that is your very base. As you know from KC and Peanut’s rivers, I believe that our human foundation depends on a regularly opened mind. But here’s what brings me to joyful tears about your life river — you show us right here in this photo how a seemingly insurmountable obstacle can BECOME that strong foundation. It steers us into hardness and the uncertainty from which we can stream, more splendid than before, straight into the sublime.
I love you, Fluid Chaos.