Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88: Chaos

Chaos demands to be recognized and experienced before letting itself be converted into a new order.  ~Hermann Hesse

Our wonderful Ann-Christine has perfect timing.  Her theme for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 is Chaos–something many of us have been experiencing as the COVID-19 world health crisis unfolds.  It is an unsettling time.  Our daily lives are disrupted.  We are afraid of getting sick and the unknown.

But at the same time, I must remind myself of an equally unsettling truth:  chaos is valuable.  It takes us irrevocably and unwillingly into uncharted territory.   It reveals our limitations, our misconceptions, our hubris.  It is humbling and often terrifying.  But from this place, we learn new truths which can serve us and future generations.

Chaos on Display, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Where would we be today if no one challenged the belief that the earth was flat?   Where would we be if men and women shrugged their shoulders and said, “There is no cure for polio…” (or rheumatic fever, or AIDS…for example).  Our explorers, our scientists have forever changed our understanding of the world and have taken us to places we never dreamed of.

Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered. ~Jose Saramago

So have our creative artists, whose works mirror the human experience and explore the depths of our hearts and souls.  Imagine our world without the beauty of a Chagall stained glass window or a Beethoven sonata.  Imagine how we’d fumble through life if our experience and truth weren’t recorded by our poets, writers, and visual artists?

Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth. ~Tom Barrett

Call me idealistic.  Call me foolish.  But I believe that right now Mother Earth is sending us a message that we need to hear.   It’s critically important that we listen….not to the rumors, not to the politicians, but the scientists and our wisest citizens.

Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.~Alan Dean Foster

Of course, some of us will resist.  We’re only human.  We won’t want to listen.  Some of us will pretend we’re invincible, immune.  But ignorance and hubris are dangerous, especially now.  The decisions that we make will impact others.  Some of us will suffer because of that.

The scientific experts are telling us to isolate ourselves and stay home as much as possible.   They’re telling us to practice social distancing when we need to go out.  I sincerely hope that billions of us are heeding their advice, so we can mitigate the impact of this virus.

In closing, I would also like to thank our community of creative people here at Lens-Artists who graciously and generously share their photographs, thoughts, and unique perspectives.  You inspire us and keep us smiling, thinking, and creating.

For the rest of March, we will follow the usual schedule.  

My closing words for this week: stay well, stay safe, and keep creating!

75 replies »

  1. Good post, Patti. I think you’re right about the earth sending us a message. As a gypsy traveler, the call to stay at home has me in a quandary. Home is 4,000 miles away and getting there would require far more exposure to both myself and others than staying away. I’m social distancing myself by staying out camping in the desert for the next few weeks instead. Not a big flower year, so no crowds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you like it, Dianne! I like that–Gypsy Traveller. We are also gypsies and had to make a few tough choices in recent weeks about where we’d “land” temporarily since we cancelled our overseas trip at the last minute. Your solution makes a lot of sense. Stay safe and well! I’m looking forward to seeing the images from your desert hiatus.


  2. I love that last shot, especially as I can see it without being there. 🙂 And you found some excellent quotes to go with your on-point thoughts. I think we must be wise and take precautions, yet not live in fear and rage. And remember that we really don’t need to stock up on water bottles and OD on buying TP!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Janet. The last shot was taken in Vancouver–where our son lives. It has some reflections in it, which add to the geometric confusion!! You’re right. We have to travel virtually for a while, at least. And we have to be smart. The obsession with TP really mystifies me!! The grocery store shelves were low on peanut butter and tomato sauce. Go figure! Thanks again for stopping by!


  3. I love how you use the art works for this theme. As our daily lives are much disrupted…, you invite us to see and feel the beauty of our great artists creative works. Thank you for reminding us to listen to the scientists and our wisest citizens.

    “…from this place, we learn new truths which can serve us and future generations.” so true and so very moving thought. I will carry it in my heart for a long time. Thank you, Patti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re very welcome, Amy. I’m delighted you like the post and photos. Like all of us, I’m finding this time very challenging, so reading and writing and taking photos have been great outlets for my anxiety! Stay well! And thanks again for your kind words! They mean a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wise and beautiful post, Patti! You capture our utmost brilliance and our utmost fears. We Must listen to the message being sent. Listen to the scientists and listen to the inner cry from Mother Earth. We cannot possibly be the Crown of Creation if we do not listen. I love the way you weave art, reflections and quotes to a masterpiece. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true, MB. People are behaving irrationally. I just saw people buying incredible amounts of TP and water in the grocery stores!! What about food?? Thanks so much for our kind words about the post and LAPC. It makes me smile. Wonderful! Thanks.


  5. I was struck with the first image – the chaotic painting and the orderly couple – even their footsteps are timed! I too went for some graffiti with its chaotic colour and spacing.
    p.s. I am holding judgement on the Covid 19 chaos – the facts and figures are blurred and the UK have a different policy but the predicted 4 months isolation of the over 70s seems a step too far. Also it is not so much Mother Earth sending us a message as our own societal setups and cultures which have brought this one about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Laura. I’m glad you liked the first one. I was stuck by their sense of intimacy in the museum. I didn’t notice that their footsteps were timed! Great catch! I really like how you visualized chaos with motion blur. Great idea. Yes, I agree that our own behavior has brought us to this crisis. Sad to say, but true.


  6. A wonderful post Patti – loved your choice of images as well as your excellent message. You’ve taken the high road and driven it beautifully. There is definitely a message here although I rather liked Laura’s thoughts about why the message has been sent and from whom 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ms. Liz. Thank you so much! Your comment put a big smile on my face! I am delighted that my post resonated with you. I hope you join us, too! I love how we all have different interpretations of the challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great photos. I like the graffiti one and the compartmentalized skyscrapers. Graffiti is certainly the anarchist’s means of expression, IMO. Love your quotes and introspective comments. Mother Earth doesn’t need much of a brain to sense that we are trashing the planet. Defense mechanisms have been a part of evolution since the beginning. Only Man is willfully self-destructive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, John. Thank you! The skyscraper shot is from Vancouver and the graffiti was in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So true, about human’s disregard for the earth. I keep thinking (weirdly enough) of that old commercial from years ago–“It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.” Well, that has proven to be true, hasn’t it?? Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What wonderful photos you have picked for this post Patti. I particularly like the first one. Chaotic indeed! I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that eventually some world-wide virus would strike, either that or a meteorite, which would change the way we live our lives. It is certainly chilling to see major cities throughout the world empty of people. Like watching a catastrophic movie. Staying isolated for months on end though could be tricky not too mention the affect on many businesses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jude! I loved that couple at the museum, too. The pandemic has completely changed our lives during the past few weeks. It is chilling, as you say, to see the deserted streets. I am thinking how much our world economies have been dependent on tourism, and how that has been completely upended. I appreciate your visit. I hope you join us!


      • A very worrying time for the travel industry and hospitality. I have an idea for some photos I took on Monday, so hope to have a post ready on Friday.


  9. Great post!!!
    These are difficult days. Although I can go out during the week to work, we have to stay home the rest of the time, this is the second weekend. A very strange situation, we keep getting news, I try only to attend to the officers. We are told that the worst is yet to come, that we must be prepared, that we must comply with safety standards. News are given daily the numbers of affected and dead who do not stop increasing. Sometimes, the mood comes down, but I try to stay calm. This virus is teaching us a lesson in humility, solidarity and empathy.
    Sorry for the long comment, in these times, virtual contacts are like a way out.
    Take care and stay safe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,Ana. It’s the second weekend for us, too. I agree that it’s a very strange time. The virus just “hit home” with us today when we found out one of cousins has it. I am hoping he’s the only one in our family, but I fear there will be more. Take care and be safe. I agree with what you wrote: “This virus is teaching us a lesson in humility, solidarity and empathy.” So true.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Patti- You so eloquently captured all that was surging through my thoughts as the words for my post finally flowed through my fingertips and onto the keyboard. I also believe that chaos is an impetus for awareness and enlightenment. A wake up call in its harshest and most poignant form… Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jane! I’m delighted my post resonated with you. I totally agree with your statement about the health crisis: “A wake up call in its harshest and most poignant form…”. I am hoping all people heed the call instead of running from it. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate them!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, Kelly. Nice to meet you here! I’m delighted that you stopped by and enjoyed my post. Yes, it is Vancouver. Our son lives there and we often visit. The light is beautiful, as you say. The city is spectacular. Thanks again for your kind thoughts.


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