Emergent Order 1


I am thinking about Emergent Order.  I came across the term in an article about index cards.  It’s a bit complex.  I’m not there yet but today (say) my definition of Emergent Order is: a coherent system created from stuff which was never intended to go together.
Tomorrow it might be slightly different.

So for instance – do you have those days when you get constant compliments on your clothes? – the clothes which happened to be the nearest, clean clothes you could find this morning? That.  That’s Emergent Order.
You didn’t intend it but it came together.
But don’t share that with a proper scientist.
Or – hey – do – but don’t tell them I told you.

I live with three small boys and at the moment they are really into scissors.
Nothing is safe. Pyjamas.  dvd covers.  Utilities bills. Duvets.
When was the last time you cut up something for the pleasure of cutting something up?

Here comes the four-year-old fresh from nursery with his picture of fireworks.  It is fantastic – I am thinking of finding a frame – it is a monochromatic reading of the notion of fireworks – but indisputably fireworks.  Brilliant.

Half an hour later it is in small pieces, raining on the floor around the chair legs and the trains.  There you are – I wanted to put it in a frame – but for him the sensation of scissor on just slightly resistant card, thick with dried paint… come on.  Fireworks are nothing if not momentary.

It’s the same with intricate plasticine figures – here’s a three-toed sloth hanging from a finely wrought plasticine tree WITH a minute plasticine baby three-toed sloth nestling on the only slightly-bigger, three-toed Mother sloth’s belly.
Trodden into the wooden train track.
Think of it.
All those colours – mixed.
Hair.  Special K.  Yellows. Browns.
It’s a little sloth-a-cide.

Recently I blogged The Factory’s first performance of The Seagull and it was the most exciting writing task I have ever done – not the greatest piece of literature – the most exciting thing to write.  Our first Seagull was a true experiment: we really, really did not know what was going to happen nor even what should happen.
Writing it up was like freezing fireworks. An echo in amber.
I had no idea how to do it. Quote what the actors said?  List all the props? Go for detail or the general sensation of the event?
Not a clue.
So I just wrote in the way I write and hoped for the best.
As we do when we’re in it.

On the one hand there is this adult need to frame things and keep them forever and then there is also this childish joy in cutting something up regardless of its value because the scissors work. There is something in the middle there, squidged into the train track with a fossilized sloth-y smile still marked on its marbled face – that seems important to try to understand.


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