Sunday, May 15, 2011


The world is full of timeless struggles. Good vs. Evil. Light vs. Darkness. To Be or Not to Be. Whether to proceed at a yellow light. Such epic conflicts set up a balance in nature. KAOS vs. CONTROL was such a conflict. I watched it faithfully every Monday night in front of our B&W Zenith portable TV. 

Although named for the bumbling protagonist Maxwell Smart, it seemed like if we all paid attention, we could all Get Smart. Without attending the college course that I'm sure is available.

You Must Listen Carefully Under the Cone of Silence

KAOS was not an acronym, but "an international organization of evil" while CONTROL was, well, there to keep them under control. So let's talk about chaos instead.

It's everywhere. And if not kept under control, well, the universe unravels, constantly moving toward disorder, according to the law of entropy.

Without chaos, we would have little to do. And as it turns out, we could do nothing at all. Take micro-tremors for example. The little fluctuations that we normally control all the time. It is our ability to control them that makes us stronger, provides the steady hand, or the ability to lose our training wheels. They provide the starting point for larger non-chaotic action. Like a seed crystal - a tiny imperfection from which the macro-scale orderly crystal grows. So oddly enough, it is imbalance that keeps you on your toes, so to speak.

Therefore I am not entirely sure it is unnatural for individuals to seek a level of imbalance that feels right for them. To be challenged or to prove something. It may be a healthy thing to some extent. But there are lots of choices when one is on that path.

When healthy imbalances get away from you, the results can be kind of funny. Like when you are almost  riding off the road on your bike. Or careening helplessly into a ditch while avoiding a stationary Yew (Angelito). Or running head-on to the "SLOW" sign on your snowboard and falling over square on your shoulder (leading in turn, to a broken collarbone).
I hate when that happens.

When unhealthy imbalances get away from you, the results are usually not so funny. The occasional event might seem like it at the time, and that will be that. Some would say that is part of growing up and finding one's way in the world. Kermit's phrase "Look Ma, no brains!" comes to mind. But I'm talking about the long haul. When the events become more than occasional and you realize one day that you dwell in the land of the Lotus Eaters.

So remember that not all pools have ripples and they are content to stay that way. Listen carefully. Make healthy choices. And as for the balance beam or tight rope - if you can't leave it to trained professionals, at least start 6" off the floor.

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