Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 7: Order/Chaos

Order (Sarah: left)

First a little bit of background on this project. Mary and I chose 52 opposites and then flipped a coin to see who got what. There was no picking and choosing here. So, I find it both funny and appropriate that I got order and Mary, chaos, this week. Anyone who knows us would think it would be easier (and more fitting) the other way around. But that's the point, isn't it? To be challenged.

So the world is full of signs, arrows pointing us this way and that, telling us that some things are slippery when wet, and (d'uh!) watch out - your hot coffee just might be, you guessed it - HOT! And if we didn't have these signs and warnings all hell would break loose and people would walk around with bubbling tongues and their genitals stuck in toilet seats. (That happened, right?)

Order my friends, ORDER.

My life has always been a little chaotic, and in some ways I like it. These days though, it's a constant battle to achieve order. As a teacher, a mother, a keeper of house and a payer of bills (dare I say, adult? :)) it's something like essential to find a balance between walking a tightrope on your elbows and tip-toeing across freshly waxed floors.

In a life of do's and don'ts, straight ways and forks in the road, big choices and small ones, order and chaos, just how do you achieve your balance?

Chaos (Mary: right)

There’s always a battle between chaos and order.

Chaos: a chasm or abyss.

Every year in northern Laos farmers who dwell in small bamboo villages in the mountains, burn down huge expanses of pristine jungle to clear land for agricultural purposes. The recent illegalization of this practice has not stopped it, and unfortunately, the fires started cannot always be controlled. During the months of March and April the air becomes thick with ash, the sky a constant haze. Flames can be seen in the distant mountains reducing some of the world’s oldest jungles to empty land.

Villagers farm this way in order to support themselves. Modern and sustainable farming techniques, equipment and knowledge have not made their way to these people in this part of the world.

Our 2-day trek through the mountains this week really struck me. I was shocked at just how much damage was being done. Huge mountains, beautifully vibrant, lush green and alive, stood next to those turned into vast, lifeless expanses of burnt tree stumps and blackened soil.


Meagan April 30, 2010 at 4:22 AM  

Sarah, how do I achieve balance or order in my life? hahaha, well I'd say that I don't. And like you I'd say I enjoy that a lot of the time, however I can't lie and say that I don't feel the urges, responsibility, and pressure to bring order into my life. My mum actually just emailed me yesterday "reminding" me that I need to start thinking about what I'll do when I get home...and why? because I'm the ripe old age of 25! Oh jesus I'm sooo old! HA! That push to conform to social norms of having a career, house, partner, fancy car, and all the other fancy objects available to us today, is the exact reason why I like being disorderly in some aspects of my life. I don't want "things", I want memories and experiences...that is not often found in an entirely orderly life.

The whole thing about sustainable and modern practices is great to those in the world that have access to it. Those that don't are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm sure they recognize the damage that it's doing to their environment, but feel that they have no other choice if they want to live. It is such a shame that in this day where people walk on the moon, we're cloning animals, and building robots to teach our children, we can't even provide the means and education necessary for country's like Laos to use their land to support themselves in such a way that it can be made healthier, reusable, sustainable, and productive. I think this is a greater issue than building robots and cloning sheep...but hey what do I know?

Great subject this week...or should I say last week!^^
Love you girls!

Meagan April 30, 2010 at 4:25 AM  

ps. sounds like an eye opening trek you did...I'm so stoked to do similar treks when I hit the road.

miss you <3

Anvilcloud April 30, 2010 at 7:13 AM  

Sarah: I guess one needs a little order, or more like organization, in their chaos.

Mary: At least this is being done for the locals on a relatively small scale, I take it, compared to what goes on the in the Amazon. At least this is my understanding.

Charlene April 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM  

Well I'm not 100% sure chaos is the right word here.......shame, ignorance, survival.....are all good titles.
Wishing we could all save these forested areas while showing others a better way. NOT the modern way necessarily as so many on this side of the globe find ways to farm without modern tecniques/equipment Take the Amish for examople ~~ their land holds 6 times more water because of tilling, crop rotation & good old manure!!

Sarah: you can strive for ordered chaos.
Can't wait to see what week 8 brings

Mary May 1, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

How do I achieve my 'order'?...I'm sure you're well aware...


That is all.


turtlestack May 7, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

One can't be creative without chaos and without order we never get around to being creative.

About the Project

As a way to stay connected through our travels and beyond, A Perspective Project was initiated by the desire to master our cameras, and to be creative and more observant of the world around us.


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