Saturday, December 4, 2010

Making me dizzy

I spent most of Thursday at Antioch: they were having a craft sale, and I thought it might be fun to participate and sell some of my matted prints and cards.

But there weren't all that many people on campus Thursday, and while the Tibetan scarves to the left of me did well, my photos proved to be of little interest to the few people who wandered by.

So I spent most of the day sitting by the moldy fountain with my head in a book, drank too much coffee (and a Coke: BIG mistake) and awoke in the middle of the night with a terrific dizzy spell: a result, I suspect, of the bend in my neck while reading, the heat of the lobby, the excess of sugar and the mold in the fountain.

But I had to give a two hour presentation in the morning (I'd been up til almost midnight working on it, and had to be up at 5 to shower in time to catch the early ferry for a morning meeting before class.  So I drank a ton of water, wolfed down some Sudafed (which pretty much guaranteed I wouldn't sleep any more) and then compounded the problem by drinking coffee before heading to the ferry so I could stay awake long enough to present.

Oy.  The presentation went amazingly well, but I spent the day in an uncomfortable fog, drank WAY too much water before remembering you need electrolytes to go with that or the dizziness becomes self-replicating...  So I'm still in a bit of trouble this morning, though I've had two glasses of salt water and a couple of bananas to try to replace the lost electrolytes.

There's a term I learned in class this quarter: FFE, or Far From Equilibrium.  It perfectly describes my mental state as I struggle to get the liquid in my inner ears back in balance.  But in Systems Theory it is believed that complex systems evolve far from equilibrium at the edge of chaos. They evolve at a critical state built up by a history of irreversible and unexpected events.  In other words, it is precisely at the point where things get horribly complicated and confusing that growth and evolution happen.

I find this theory enormously reassuring; don't you?  Not as it reflects my current state of disequilibrium, which I suspect is less efficacious (wow, where did THOSE vocabulary word surface from?) but with regard to the challenges humans and human organizations face.  If we could simply trust that nature has been designed in such a way that the unexpected and inconvenient and difficult are all signs of impending evolution, well, it would be a lot easier to stay calm in a crisis, don't you think? 

This just feels like one of those places where science and religion are beginning to overlap -- and I find that very exciting.  When my brain is working.  When I'm not reeling with dizziness.  But maybe it's that overlap that's making me dizzy!  Maybe I should just look at my dizziness as a sort of tipping point; if I get TOO dizzy, I'll just tip over!  the question is -- into what?  It would be so nice if I could just tip over into Now...


Louise Gallagher said...

Ah yes, the too much coffee a coke and a Sudafed blues.

While I've never done the coke -- the rest, with sugar in some other format -- onh yea.

ANd uh huh. Way too tippy.

The idea of tipping over into now -- that's a good one though.

I like the FFE concept/theory. I've been so far out on FFE I've tipped over into the darkside. Took megawatt halogens, like a football stadium, for me to fin myself again!

And... you're so right -- evolution happened without any effort on my part.

Cool post Diane!


Maureen said...

Hope you get a little downtime just to relax and recover. Have a lovely weekend.

Joyce Wycoff said...

FFE ... what a great term! And, you may be dizzy but what great wisdom you share ... and isn't it lovely that a banana can bring us back into equilibrium.