Texture and Chaos


May 28, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

I sat down last night with the intention of writing some internal dialogue for my character who is a chaos class sorcerer. I wanted to see if I could compose something that shows how her thought processes are different than normal people.

It didn’t quite go as planned.

I thought I’d share it with you, though, because I’m curious what thoughts and ideas it sparks in your heads. As you read, keep in mind that this character, Jac, has a magical ability that makes her a walking disaster area.

I couldn’t sleep, so I just stared the textured surface above my bed. The scallop-shaped ripples in the drywall fascinated me. At first glance, it seemed patterned, as if there was a method to the madness of the person who had carved the shapes into the mud before it dried. Then you’d notice a fully circular shape of concentric rings in a sea of scallops. There were nine of them on my ceiling. I’d tried to determine if there was any pattern to those ten, but had yet to discover one. Ultimately, there was no pattern to the nine at all. Arcs of all sizes and lengths and starting from every which direction covered the surface over my bed. There was no rhyme or reason to them. They just were.

Such anarchy that no one ever noticed because no one looked up.

Source: Google Images

Had the ceiling not been textured, the seams where sections of plasterboard were joined together would stand out like jarring imperfections in the otherwise smooth surface. The human eye would note the imperfection even from the periphery. Your attention would be drawn to the lines because you couldn’t help but notice how they stood out from their surroundings. Your mind would label the ceiling imperfect.

Source: Google Images

Normal people were untextured ceilings. Bad events in their lives marred the surface of their smooth orderly lives. The death of a loved one, a tragic accident, the loss of a job, a massive failure; these events may only be a small portion of the overall surface of their lives, but they stood out. They were defining events, sometimes because that person couldn’t handle those events, sometimes because those viewing their “ceiling” could only see the imperfections and not the rest of the person’s smooth life.

My life was a textured ceiling. There was nothing smooth about my life. No pattern, no order, no rhyme, no reason. Just an endless series of unfortunate events. Like the nine perfect circles on my ceiling, I could count on both hands the number of times I’d had order in my life and things had gone according to plan.

But, I wasn’t defined by my outliers like others seemed to be. My entire life was outliers compared to the norm. For some reason, my overall lack of pattern defined me.

For the few short months I’d lived here with V and become an EMT, I had thought I might be able to have a somewhat normal life. That I could impose pattern and order on my chaos. That I could carve something meaningful into backdrop of all the very bad things by helping people. Instead, the anarchy of my life drove the outliers into the background.

Again, this wasn’t the direction I intended to take things, so I’m not sure if I’ll use this at all, but what sorts of thoughts does it evoke for you?

12 thoughts on “Texture and Chaos

  1. TamrahJo says:

    I’m either a walking disaster, or she thinks too much like ordinary people – – LOL

    To my way of thinking, normal people crave to see patterns, even when they do not exist. If there is a pattern, then one can study, understand and predict.
    Acknowledging patterns, or what they mask, or what they mean, is the normal way of creating the illusion of control and security.

    A chaos master would rail against any patterns – patterns beg for understanding and uniformity – chaos does not…

    Granted, I’m not educated on what a ‘chaos class sorcerer’ actually is – but you asked for what ideas sparked, and this was the result! 🙂

    Best wishes with fleshing Jac out!

    • So you see what I mean about it not going according to plan 🙂

      Here’s a thought for you: you said a chaos master would rail against patterns. Wouldn’t that mean they would have to see them? Would a chaos master be even more sensitive to patterns and order, noticing them in ways “normal” people wouldn’t because they’d have a driving need to break the pattern and cause disorder?

      • TamrahJo says:

        True, you must acknowledge something exists, if it’s your wish to destroy it – so not the best explanation – let me try again –

        It’s been my experience that those who create the most chaos are those so oblivious to their surroundings, they notice not patterns, or much of anything else, except the reality they wish to create- a reality that is simply an extension of their chaotic inner world. Lost in their own chaos – it just simply branches out from them in unpredictable ways – –

        But then, I’m talking about normal people who create chaos – LOL

        I applaud you for creating such a character – it shall be interesting, no doubt!

      • Hmmm, I can buy that. Generally speaking, you’ve got the idea of the typical chaos class sorcerer. Jac is… a little different.

        This really helps. I think I can better write the difference between the two now. So, thanks for the discussion!

      • TamrahJo says:

        Fantabulous! and always willing to help oil the wheels of creativity through discussion!

      • TamrahJo says:

        On the other hand, there are scientists and authors who have postulated the theory that early traumas can mess up brain neurology – as in, what normally would make someone happy, makes them sad and vice-versa – –
        I thought of that while thinking, what if the chaos brings peace and uniformity/patterns does not? What if Chaos is the pattern sought? What if there is no way to get away from the desire for patterns?
        Please feel free to end your next post requesting feedback with the following:
        “Except for you, TamrahJo” –

      • I’d never say that! I always love thought-provoking questions.

        What is there is no such thing as chaos, only things in which we can’t see the pattern? Do we call things chaotic when they’re simply too much for us to process?

        What if the label of “chaos” is merely a way to demonize things that don’t fit our expectations or drive us outside our comfort zone?

      • TamrahJo says:

        Excellent perspective! And true, we are very good at filtering things out that overload us!

  2. MishaBurnett says:

    Order and chaos are points on a continuum. There are several ways to measure the degree of disorder in a system–the level of entropy.

    Without going into the math too deeply, suppose that you assign a scale of 0 to 1, with zero being absolute zero–all motion stopped, and 1 being the theoretical heat-death of the universe–all energy expressed as heat, basically a cloud of plasma from one end of the universe to the other, without structure.

    Obviously, both extremes are not great for life as we know it. But further suppose that there is “life zone” in the order continuum, say, from .3 to .6 (we’re positing a non-linear scale here for ease of discussion– the life zone on the scale I outline would likely be something more like .499995 to .500005).

    Now, if you look at the degree of chaos as being analogous to frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, human vision is from about 400nm to about 700nm, while ultraviolet ranges down to between 100nm and 10nm. Bees, for example, can see at least two “colors” that human beings cannot.

    With me so far?

    Now, let’s suppose that a human being’s “chaos spectrum” runs from, say, .3 to .5. Events with that level of disorder will register as patterns to human perception. Jac, being a chaocomancer, has a different register of pattern recognition–she perceives a spectrum of, say, .4 to .7 as being patterns.

    So what happens is that Jac doesn’t perceive events with a high degree of regularity as patterns, much as an ordinary human wouldn’t be able to be aware of the patterns of plate tectonics. On the other hand, things that a regular human would dismiss as random, a water splash, a traffic accident, light refracting through an irregular prism, Jac would see and comprehend as being ordered.

    Hope that makes sense. I do drone on a bit, don’t I?

    • TamrahJo says:

      I love this perspective! Along the same lines asthe theory that every system descends into a state of chaos right before breaking through to a new level of expansion – Growth, entrophy, chaos, expansion, new patterns, etc.,…

    • It does make sense. I like the idea of how different sorcerers or humans would perceive patterns.

      In my cosmology, chaos magic is about exploiting systems. Every system has weaknesses. A chaos sorcerer can apply their power to those vulnerable points. They act like a catalyst for entropic processes inherent in the system. So, the average chaos sorcerer sees only those points of potential and is fixated on manipulating them.

      There’s some other things going on, too, but *SPOILERS*.

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