The Idea of Order

Living on the edge today, writing in the morning before my espresso infusion. What I have instead is the intense gold of sunrise meeting the ice feathering my storm windows, so that every one looks like stained glass.

Between waking and getting up, I was thinking of a Wallace Stevens poem, from which I’ve borrowed today’s title. I sometimes work where the forces of entropy reign with even more vigor than customary. Recently I was attempting to console someone who had exceeded their tolerance for chaos on that particular day. Like me, this person is relatively organized, which makes coping with recalcitrant disorder challenging. I said, “Basically our job is to try to wrangle even a slight increase in functionality and grace out of this. If we can manage that, we’re doing great!”

In his excellent and entertaining book Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton identifies two paths to experiencing feelings of success. The first is stellar achievement; the second is modest expectations. Although the routes are qualitatively different, their net impact on our satisfaction with ourselves and our lives is the same.

More later…off to Portland now.

2 thoughts on “The Idea of Order

  1. All these 44 years, I’ve been exhausting myself by driving for stellar achievement when I could have been moderating my expectations?! I’m definitely going to try that route for the next 30 days and see what happens. I’m so excited!

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