Chaos is not the same as disorder. It’s not the same as random, wild, or unplanned. Chaos is the void before the universe existed. Or the hysteria following an explosion. It’s the effect on a social entity (city, town, region) of a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. It’s not your guest room with all those boxes … or the junk drawer in the kitchen. Those are just untidy.
And in case you think maybe I’m just cherry picking the definition, here’s another:
A heap of Legos is not chaos. It’s a heap of Legos. Someone created that heap. It is intended to be what it is. The Legos are not in that pile because a tornado swept through the house and and that was the result. Moreover, your office, no matter how disorderly, is not chaos. It’s just disorganized and messy. Those of us with messy offices and guest rooms full of boxes and empty luggage can take some comfort from this.
So perhaps what the editor of today’s challenge was asking for is a scene of unplanned-ness. Disorganization. Random “stuff” that no human has arranged. The thing is, nature is never chaotic. It may appear random, but it isn’t.
Not being photojournalists who take pictures of war zones, riots, and other things that might legitimately be termed “chaotic,” the closest thing we’ve got is nature being natural, which to usually beautiful. It’s why gardeners work so hard to create a natural look. An orderly garden is a lot easier to create than a natural-looking one. It takes a lot of planning to achieve the look of nature unassisted .
There’s a lesson in here. I’m just not sure what it is.