Thursday, February 2, 2012

Entropy, On Holiday

I'm officially on break from projects, but I see the need to fix things in all directions.

By looking closely at the doors and base boards, I've been able to reconstruct the mindset of the previous owners. We know that they were in a hurry to leave--a family emergency--and I can see evidence of what happened in those final days before we first came to see the house (and bought it a few days later), of what shortcuts they took, and the order in which those shortcuts were taken. The end result (and not the most serious one) is that almost everything needs to be repainted.

Coincidentally, in the meantime I'm reading a book about physics and the nature of the universe, which is thought to be in perfect symmetry and is considered to be in a permanent state of entropy, sometimes referred to as chaos.

So how can chaos be so symmetrical? I hadn't really considered this before.

Human beings have a common sense of what it means to be clean and orderly, to create things that are symmetrical in form and consistent in purpose. But order requires constant work. Things eventually need to be repaired or replaced or painted or varnished, clean floors will not stay clean, dishes will pile up in the sink, clothes will need to be washed again.

The universe likes disorder, and to get in sync Cheryl and I would need to move back into the woods, sleep in the trees, quit wearing clothes and eat beetles or whatever comes along. (I would consider it, but Cheryl probably would not.)

Even if I do a perfect job repainting the doors and base boards, it will last only a certain limited amount of time before someone needs to do it again. That's OK--there's no excuse for doing a crappy job. I'm not interested in how the universe feels about my projects.

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