Thursday, September 16, 2010

Entropy: or, Why Does There Have to be Dust?

By Susan G. Haws

My “to do” list always has regular chores, projects then goals. I find that the getting groceries and making meals and packing spiced with an occasional car door malfunction type of urgent repair take all the energy that was supposed to go to writing and crafts. In my frustration I thought: wasted time and effort plus chaos equals entropy.
I know less than a molecule about the second law of thermodynamics but I am well acquainted with disorder and decreased productive energy. If entropy is the measure of disorder often referred to as chaos or waste then I am the Easter dust Bunny bringing it. Moving doesn’t help, for those of you that caught my lament about beginning moving I am still in the process.
To begin with I am one of those people that feel life should be like a jigsaw puzzle. Once you find a piece it should stay put you shouldn’t have to keep finding the same piece over and over again. You should find the piece with the crab claw shaped right “front foot” press it into place and move to the next until the puzzle is complete then shellac it till it never moves again; or, put it back in its box tape it tight and pass it on to another puzzle lover. But instead life is like Prometheus continually having his liver eaten. Regenerating the organ only to have the torture repeated the next day. I often feel as if I am rolling this boulder up hill only to roll the same rock up the same hill tomorrow, forever. I could swear there was another character from myth punished this way but if so the entropy in my gray matter won’t give it up. Yes, I want to be rescued from drudgery like Prometheus rescued by Heracles/Hercules and we could parallel that with Christ rescuing all of human kind but I don’t want to dig that deep.
I just want to know why there has to be a continual breaking down. Why a degeneration? Why must we do the same tasks laundry, dishes, dusting and weeding regularly? Why is there “red tape” in paper work? What do we learn from mopping that we couldn’t learn by an epic battle with a foe that once put down never returns? After such a battle we could move on to the next Herculean task and the next leaving order in our wake. But instead just as we think we have finished sorting and filing; more junk mail arrives. The coupe de grace is: as I age I find I have less energy to tackle tasks and tasks seem to take longer and be harder than they used to do. Is it middle age? Is it only my battery running down or just the way of the universe? If so, is there is a higher lesson to be learned? I have missed it.

8 comments:

  1. One of life's many tests. Enduring to the end, over and over and over...

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  2. Thanks Valerie. I don't like the enduring to the end thing.

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  3. These are all unanswerable questions. I've made my peace with dust - I don't bother it, and it doesn't bother me. It bothers my husband, however, and he usually bothers it away. Just one more advantage of having a retired man at home. I've always believed that while I'm at the keyboard writing something brilliant and memorable, the urgency of mindless housework pales. Besides, only dull women have clean houses. And Garrison Keillor was right - guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.

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  4. Thank you Pam, and you are so right. I am friends with my dust bunnies but certain people have pointed out I am too friendly. I love your quote.

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  5. When I was younger I honestly believed that someday mankind would achieve Star Trek techonlogy freeing up womankind to do marvelous things. Now, I'm just grateful that clothes washing, dusting, cooking, cleaning really don't take all day like that once did.

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  6. Terri you are right I should be grateful I am not like the pioneers. I just always have wished for Star Trek version.

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  7. I hear you Susan! I've been learning to just let some things go. We've been in this house 13 months now...and I still have a room full of boxes I have not unpacked. sigh. but it's ok! I have a goal to empty just one box a day and to write a page a day. After 3 weeks, I have emptied 3 boxes...and not written any pages to my book. I have written other things though.

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  8. i watched too many episodes of bewitched when I was young. I still want to wiggle my nose and have the house be clean. Oh well. Thanks for the post. i'm not sure if there is a higher lesson. My strategy - I only allow myself to do a certain amount of housework a day - to prevent my post-housework agitation from setting in. Good luck.

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