The rules of chaos are simple: A mountain
is never a perfect cone. A lake
is never really a circle. A drop
of dew is not a microcosm.
No. Flowers wither.
Dust collects. There is the
relentless return of what we
do not want. Everything inclines
to disorder. But then how to
explain this grove of orange trees
planted so close branch nuzzles branch,
the whole world in permanent rows?
An illusion, of course. When
the present for most of us lasts only
3 seconds. But then how to
explain the man blind from birth who
sees a person and believes he sees
a tree on legs. How did he find
the conceit to link such disparates?
The tactile vision of his past creates the
chaos of his present sightedness.
His world, newly angled, is no longer
reasonable, but still he relies on what
he knows. He names what he sees, revising
phylum, genus, class as he goes,
sometimes standing quite still, eyes closed
in order to recall the harmony of things.
—Jill P. Baumgaertner