June 11, 2014

A Non-Linear Life: Lessons from Nature. ~ Laura Ward

Completely nonlinear by nature.

Straight lines are rare in nature.

We hardly ever see them—a rejected phenomena, no doubt. In nature, if something doesn’t work it gets ditched for something that does.

Curved lines are much more desirable. In permaculture, we call it “maximizing the edge.” The zone where two different areas converge (the edge) has the highest biodiversity, and where there is diversity there is stability and opportunity for growth.

As an element of nature, I am completely non-linear. The tissues that make up my physiology are curved, and wacky, and all the while inconceivably brilliant.

I choose to work with nature, not against it. If Pacha Mama vetoed straight lines, I veto the idea of a linear life trajectory. Squish-squash the Western ideas of a perfect life: school, debt, car, debt, working for someone else, living for the weekend, kids, debt, retirement, death…  try to organize life with logic. Try to make sense of it, and overpower its nature.

The thing is: life does not listen to your logic.
It listens to life. Learn or be smote. It does not work, can you see?

My outward ways may appear to be a ridiculous coiling of winding wanderings, but living an existence guided by hints of wonderment and responding to life’s moments—in the moment—is entirely intentional.

I am maximizing my edge.

I am allowing for exponentially more interactions—with people and places and information—that I would never have had exposure to on a strict linear path. This fluid dance increases my diversity and opportunity for self-expansion over time.

My proclivities are nonsensical, typically riding the tangent of a tangent, and that’s beautiful to me.

If I am linear, I am anti-life; I am working against nature and what has been proven to work. I choose to respond. I choose life. I choose to embrace the non-linear.

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Apprentice Editor: Hannah Harris/Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Provided by the Author

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Laura Ward