Learning to Love Entropy

Love may seem like the wrong word for embracing the natural tendency to disintegrate. But I think of the way bones are constantly reshaping themselves in a living body, calcium depositing in stalactite ridges—but also dissolving, rebuilding, becoming something else.

"Christmas Tree 2013" © Martha Nichols

“Christmas Tree 2013″
© Martha Nichols

Three weeks ago, my eleven-year-old son jumped too hard down a hill and did temporary damage to the growth plate in one leg. I didn’t know about growth plates before I saw his X-rays—but there they were, ghostly lumps of soft tissue at the top and bottom of his femur. “Bone-building factories,” his orthopedist said, but they looked more like shadowy possibilities to me, as if growth and destruction could overlap each other at the same moment. As if I’d been offered a rare glimpse into the future.

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