The equinox is back in in town, and this is the one that points to brighter days: the literal kind. The metaphorical sort remains to be seen. In some ways brightness can be a modest virtue. At least until nature’s green camouflage returns in force, the scenery in the ever more abundant light is not altogether pretty.
As the residue of the final (I hope) snowstorm of March melts away in this part of the world, what lies beneath emerges. Much of the grounds on my property is a mess. The broken branches that litter the lawn can be tidied up without too much trouble, of course, while verdant regrowth soon will soften the appearance of shattered trees and brown patches. The human artifacts, however, do not regenerate themselves with exposure to a little water and sunlight; on the contrary they’ll just accelerate the decay. Retaining walls crumble, siding rots, shingles curl, and asphalt cracks. Inside my home appliances fail, carpets fray, and furniture sags. Entropy chuckles.
First Law of Thermodynamics: You can’t win.
Second Law: You can’t break even.
Entropy always wins in the end, but we do what we can to delay the inevitable. Fresh shingles, cedar siding, and Type S Portland await my hammer and trowel outside. The inside deterioration I’ll address to the extent my wallet allows.
The Second Law applies not just to human artifacts but to humans. Telomeres will tell. My mirror isn’t giving me the best of news these days, and spring won’t help much with that. Maybe a little. More fresh air and sunshine won’t hurt, but they won’t reverse the general trend. I still can see the 17-year-old in the face looking back at me from the mirror, but I doubt anyone else can see him.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” said not my generation’s Dylan but that other guy. I think not. I’d rather just take it in my totter instead. Entropy’s assault on my house and grounds, however, will feel my wrath. Well, my hammer and trowel anyway.
Kelly Osbourne – Entropy