navigating chaos


In these last two weeks, I have peeled back the layers and examined my past creative and professional endeavors. Like Gabe, going through his pieces of memory-laden papers for his scrapbook, I am connecting the dots from my experiences, trying to map out the zigzagging path that led me to where I am today. Still camped out here in PA, I am missing boat life in Annapolis, but guess it’s appropriate that I retrace my steps starting from here in small town PA where I hail from.

I never felt as if I possessed much of a sense of direction, but getting lost always came naturally to me.  I enjoy it still.  Somehow, though, I have always found my way, whether it was by using the sun as my compass, or gleaning navigational advice from strangers at red lights and toll booths. I’ve felt more comfortable moving in the direction in which the wind was blowing stronger or relying on what felt right, more so than using any road map or guide-book.

This way of wandering through the world may not seem logical to most but it has worked for me. It’s the way in which I have found jobs, developed projects, made friends and committed to major life decisions. Organically… not really orderly.

I’ve never held an office job, have never balanced my checkbook, and currently have my belongings stashed in 5 different places in two separate states. (one of them being an almost sinking sailboat)  Gabe’s description “a delicate balance of spinning chaos” may be the best way anyone has ever explained my unique lifestyle.

Oddly enough, I like to be dropped in the midst of chaos or unchartered territory. I’ve become kind of use to it, and am somehow more comfortable with the task of blazing my own path through the woods than following other people’s prescribed directions.  And although there is nothing that I enjoy more than the unpredictability, freedom and diversity that my choices bring to my life – I constantly feel like I somehow, someday have to get my act together! Become organized! Get my life in order!

But when looking back, from this vantage point, it appears I have possessed an order and structure all along. It’s just taken the task of creating an online visual portfolio for me to be able to see this. Being asked to take a moment, reflect, and organize my accomplishments has revealed that I have had a clear direction in my path and an overlapping core mission in my career choices. I just seemed to have gotten there using creativity and instinct more than logic or order.

Why do I need to structure the chaos that is my life? Controlling chaos would only eliminate all the possible paths that I have taken creatively to navigate through it.

I tend to agree with Robert Frost:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about.

Check out the Living Chapters facebook page to follow the growing pains and progress of the evolving online portfolio.

Visit the June Gallery for images and videos from the Body and Kinesthetic chapter.


1 thought on “navigating chaos

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