The chaos of all of us

Modifié le : 2016/09/26

Twi­light already, autumn already. When walk­ing with the clock in the sky, the order­ing of things seems nor­mal to us with­out being dis­turb­ing or paci­fy­ing. I was com­ing out of my singing class, I looked at the sun, which was already only a glow on a throb­bing cloud, per­haps a har­bin­ger of rain.

The singing les­son, as usu­al, was reveal­ing. It trans­forms me, patient­ly sculpts my voice or pas­sions. This time when twi­light caught me, my teacher had want­ed me to express myself to a Tchaikovsky melody. “I’m pick­ing up the piano to push you fur­ther.” I had under­stood his inten­tion and tried, as best I could, to be that tor­ment­ed soul of the scorned lover that the com­pos­er had so sim­ply and pow­er­ful­ly carved.

But now, at fifty-sev­en years of age, I find it dif­fi­cult to live this type of roman­tic and bib­li­cal pas­sion. I can under­stand that the soul com­plains, I can also very well accept the rea­sons that dri­ve Job to defy God. After all, dis­or­der scares us. How­ev­er, my mis­un­der­stand­ing is prob­a­bly else­where. I don’t know.

Before I drift­ed towards singing, my project in writ­ing today was more to talk about chaos. I may have drift­ed, but I did it wise­ly. I watched a BBC doc­u­men­tary, The Code, pre­sent­ed by math­e­mati­cian Mar­cus du Sautoy.

The series reveals a hid­den numer­i­cal code that under­pins all nature. The series con­sists of three episodes, which explore how the world around us con­forms to and can be explained by math­e­mat­i­cal codes. The first episode “Num­bers” reveals how sig­nif­i­cant num­bers appear through­out the nat­ur­al world. The sec­ond episode “Shapes” uncov­ers the hid­den pat­terns that explain the shape of the world around us. And the third and final episode “Pre­dic­tion” looks at the weird world of what hap­pens next.


Just like this teacher with a French name and yet very British, I have always been fas­ci­nat­ed by geom­e­try and math­e­mat­ics. I am not a sci­en­tist for two cents and that is one rea­son why I remain attached to a form of astrol­o­gy that more sen­si­ble brains will reject.

The sec­ond episode of this series is par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing. Why are the cells of bees hexa­gons ? Why does salt form cubes ? Why are the dunes gov­erned by the PI num­ber ? Why do bub­bles join so eas­i­ly togeth­er through flat walls ?

I am all the more fond of these answers because my own life is a more or less per­sis­tent form of chaos. This chaos is described in the third episode. How to find a ser­i­al killer by the math­e­mat­ics of the loca­tions of his crimes alone ? How does a crowd man­age to guess with an accu­ra­cy of 1% the quan­ti­ties of jujubes in a jar ?

We, the small atoms of a chaot­ic exis­tence, par­tic­i­pate in the meta­mor­pho­sis of time. I like to think of human rela­tions in the same way. Two peo­ple touch each oth­er, they will look for the most eco­nom­i­cal anchor point, a com­mon wall. If they have to widen the cir­cle, they will adopt a dif­fer­ent strat­e­gy, a dif­fer­ent geom­e­try. Some­times the result is well-con­struct­ed and sta­ble cells, some­times the crowd becomes too dense and our des­tiny escapes us entire­ly, our intel­li­gence hav­ing become noth­ing more than a relay­ing and pas­sive synapse.

I keep walk­ing, watch­ing the con­struc­tion of the world. My exis­tence is not a straight line, it is gov­erned by the but­ter­fly effect of my ges­tures and your ges­tures, the weath­er, the paths, math­e­mat­i­cal­ly nat­ur­al and well thought out equations.

When I arrived near the metro, my eyes lin­gered on the illu­mi­nat­ed ten­nis court at the begin­ning of this cool evening. Sub­ju­gat­ed by the beau­ty of the place, I took out my phone to cap­ture the peace­ful sym­me­try of the moment.

I will con­tin­ue to walk because I hunger for order in my prayer­ful life.