Fractal: a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity.
Yesterday, I spent 45 minutes preparing to leave the cabin so I could work out for 12 minutes before childcare ended at the gym. Two days ago, Aaron and I played ¼ game of Scrabble before Clara woke from her nap. I have started, and abandoned, this blog post three times. Sometimes with a near-toddler rugratting around the house, life can seem fragmented, but more accurately, I think, it’s fractalled—that each interrupted moment is a perfect, self-similar distillation of the whole.
A lover of fiction, I have this ungenerous theory that most non-fiction is one chapter of ideas and twelve to twenty chapters of reiterative supportive data. Yet, I do not think it a cruel irony that lately life feels like a series of non-fictive first chapters. All of the ideas, none of the exhaustive elaboration: life may feel segmented but not incomplete. Each fractal is enough.
Here are some recent fractals:
2. In the car, I try to listen to NPR instead of Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising for the 1,874th time. I also try to read the Nation/World section of the newspaper first. Yet, it occurred to me this morning, as I shamefully went right to the coupon section in the Fred Meyer insert and then to the comics, that how one reads the paper is perhaps reflective of how one lives her life. I am troubled by overseas uprisings but bizarrely ecstatic that eggs are 2 for 1 this week.
3. Though crawling and pointing at Dakota while saying “DG,” Clara has reverted to some three-month-old tendencies. I am back to rocking her to sleep. Life wants for nothing when your daughter’s head surrenders on your shoulder. A whole life is lived in that moment.