Nature is a wonderful thing. Its course is often unexpected and it is that uncertainty and surprise that create the greatest joy. Sunsets of glorious red caused by volcanoes far away, the mighty roar of hurricanes grown from tiny temperature differences. The certainty of these random events has now been described in chaos theory; but really it is still the surprise that is the wonder of it all.
The green carpet of bright Spring alights.
Bramblings flock on Beech wood mast.
Draughts of Dandelion wine intoxicate,
as insects drink sweet nectar deep.
A butterfly flapping wings
is snapped by dragonfly on air.
Then hobby swoops and takes its turn.
In screamed alarm the Bramblings rise
dropping seed on virgin ground.
Chaotic order, chancing certainty,
holds the world in tender grasp.
The twig that’s thrown from Pooh-stick bridge
meanders on a random path,
but still heads toward an uncertain sea.
As present flows from past events,
hindsight never quite sheds light
on the stories of tomorrow’s world.
One hundred years a new Beech wood.
Tall grown with canopy spread wide.
An embroidery of Mandelbrot,
a glorious silhouette,
Barnsley fern around its feet.
Borne from the beat of butterfly.
This piece and poetry responds to a scientific article on the butterfly effect. They had calculated because of atmospheric damping it would be impossible for the flap of a butterfly’s wings to cause a hurricane. This analysis completely misses the point, the relationships conceived in the butterfly effect are not ones appropriately described by either Newtonian or Quantum mechanics, rather they are description of the cumulative possibilities can occur through a series of random events.
The poem considers the creation of a whole new forest that was initiated by the flap of a butterfly wings. However the nature of the relationship between the two events, cause and effect are a hundred years apart. It is only a small step from the forest being created, to imagine a forest fire destroying the forest and the heat generated causing an atmospheric disturbance that is instrumental in causing a hurricane.
The ceramic sculpture is of a butterfly pierced with intricate markings, denoting its delicate form. The wing is repaired in gold in the style of the Japanese art of kintsugi alluding to the damaged nature of the biosphere and mankind’s responsibility for its wellbeing. The butterfly is positioned at an acute angle swerving into the wind, balanced precariously, representing the uncertain relationship between objects and events as described by chaos theory. The butterfly is balanced on top of a tree which is being twisted into a whirling tornado; this further reinforces the complex and serendipitous interaction of cause and effect in natural systems.
Compassion – in this piece we consider the wide ranging effects of very small (thought to be insignificant) actions. In such a way an individual acting in a compassionate way can change the way society acts.