Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Chaos off My Back and Onto the Page

Two looping divinities chase each around a figure-8 race track. Around and around they go, infinitely. There is no space to stop, no time for rest. They will make their perfect circles forever.

The sun and the earth intertwined, confusion and chaos combine, perfect chaos results. Chaos is perfection, I wear it proudly. A tiny speck am I, a fraction of the end result, one dot among many, but a contribution to chaos all the same.


In the beginning, there was chaos, vast and mystical. When darkness was wrapped in darkness, before there was death, before life, before mortality or morality, before there was existence itself, before night or day, before even the idea, there was chaos. Chaos contains the seeds of everything that existed before Order. Chaos precedes everything, even time. Chaos breathed life where there was none before. Chaos gave birth to the universe. Chaos is the mother of all things. Chaos is the gap between heaven and earth. Chaos is brooding and mysterious. Chaos brings creation.

We are the children of chaos.


The man at the counter was big, and white, and hairy. He showed us a picture of his angelic children, tattooed on his thigh. We looked at each other, and wondered what we were getting ourselves into. Gulp. Double gulp.

We were brave that day, or else just out of our minds. We sat in the bookstore across the street, trying to find just the right elephant. The kind of elephant you could live with for a lifetime. We flipped through the pages, giggling nervously, and then made the selection. We marched proudly back to the big hairy man, determined.

She was nervous, I was not, so she went first. I held her hand and watched the artist get to work. She made faces, maybe she cried a little, but soon there was an elephant. There was no turning back. Elephants are forever.

When it was my turn, I sat backwards in the chair. A man I didn't know rolled up my shirt and tucked it into my bra. I sat that way, exposed to anyone who came in the front door. Chaos made its way onto my back, in a tender place. It hurt. A lot. But still less than I'd braced myself for.

On the way home, chaos was jostled and raw, but the pain was a nice reminder of what we'd done. Chaos was a new beginning. It was the start of something I didn't quite understand yet.

Chaos is 5 today, which means that Anna, it's time to wish you the happiest of birthdays. I can't believe how old you are! I hope elephant is doing well, and that your day has all the right kind of chaos.

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