Musings on Chaos and Order

By Linda Donaldson

Since we have had but a few submissions for the Winter 2022-23 Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal, we Editors decided to extend our deadline to February 28th, 2023. The theme of this issue of the journal is Chaos or Order.

To encourage your writings, I revisited our theme topics and considered the various meanings of the two words we chose. Perhaps my musings might jump start a story, memoir or poem for submission.

First, “chaos” is usually defined as a state of utter confusion and disorder, thus the antithesis of order. Other references in literature suggest a gaping void, an abyss, a yawning gulf or chasm, or an amorphous lump. Chaos in government or military ranks is often described as anarchy.

The word “order” by contrast has many meanings and is contained in dozens of idioms. Order can denote rank, grade or class such as a social division or stratum. It can indicate a body of persons of the same profession, occupation or pursuits regarded as a separate class in the community, such as clergy.

Order can refer to a rank in a scale of importance of persons or things distinguished from others by nature or character. In natural history classification, order is just below “class” and above “family” in the hierarchy of animals, vegetables and minerals.

Used to denote a sequence or succession in space or time, order can describe the course or method of occurrence or action. It describes the condition in which everything is in its proper place.

In legal terms order can mean the maintenance and observance of law or constituted authority. Legal terms in use are court order, out of order, by order of the court, and today’s order of business.

Purchasing items – now done in person, via email, telephone or online – has resulted in these phrases: place an order, on order, back order and repeat order.

Keep Writing!

Click here for a link to our Submission Guidelines for the Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal, Winter 2022-23.

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