On Changing Norms and Hazy Days

On Changing Norms and Hazy Days

It’s a hazy day in the Andes, at least in my part of that long continental range. The haze imparts its own very special beauty and today at least, reflects a bit of my internal life, not an indifferent haze but one dressed in gentle shades of mild confusion, not unpleasant confusion though, just like the haze outside, it’s somewhat comforting.

Relationships should long ago have stabilized for me but they seem to get more and more confusing, none more so than my current possible quasi-relationship of sorts; but I’ve come to terms with that, at least right now, at least I think so. Perhaps I’m just drained from too much of everything but too little of the commitment that binds.

Chaos theory comforts me if order really proceeds from disorder as a natural process but then, what might the obverse be? Of course! Chaos must proceed from order. I’m a very organized and orderly kind of person but I have to admit to scenting chaos all around me. I wonder if that constitutes any kind of empirically recognizable proof. It’s not bad chaos, but chaos in the sense of the unexpected flowing past me, seemingly headed from my future towards my past, like a strong headwind preceding a hurricane, kind of like when I was very young and not all that bright, and would escape to go fly kites as hurricanes approached the Florida Keys. I wonder if this chaos trails a tail of order heading back from whence I’ve come.

It’s a good day to catch up on work that’s piled up. At noon yesterday I had 108 unopened emails, obviously unanswered and unattended to, dangerous when one is in the midst of organizing two important local forums. I’m now down to just thirty but getting more and more bored; this is the weekend, that brief cycle I treasure so but usually waste, which on weekends isn’t all that bad.

I think I may be dysfunctional and subject to attention deficit disorder, or perhaps it’s just that as I grow older my mind tends to wander more and more.  Nope, it’s always done that but I understand that now means that I was a precursor for the evolving modern mind.  Someday we will be the norm and that someday may already be arriving.  Evidently the human mind has adapted its cognitive processes to the evolving overload of information by specializing in multitasking at the cost of profound concentration.  So dysfunctional may be an appropriate way to function nowadays, although one needs to understand that there is a vast difference between non-functional and dysfunctional, mainly measured in the pain expended to function versus the “who-cares-if-it-functions” attitude of the late sixties and certain tropical latitudes.  The tension between the two generates a lot of frustration on both sides but we can both gang up on the merely functional, a boring cousin that tends to favor disdain over family ties.

OK, … that latter refrain is colored in the pastel greens of envy; functional might in fact be pretty interesting, perhaps, on rare occasions, even cool. I seem to recall striving to attain functionality over most of my life but recently having had to abandon the quest in order to pretend that I’ll find happiness in the midst of my current dysfunctional personal relationship. I’ve found a kind of peace looking at it as if from a distance, even though I’m in the core of its vortex, playing as though I can have out of body experiences during which I observe the various machinations, admiring their complexity, shrewdness and pure manipulative capacities, seeing how easily logic proves that black is white, up is down, and sideways all around. I think it’s her, but she regularly explains how it’s always my fault, and why I’m wrong to always think I’m right.

I wonder if that’s also the new norm.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2013; all rights reserved