Snow, snow, snow.
My kids fought for the best position to see the snow through the window. Back and forth, cutting ahead of each other as if there was a queue. They couldn’t wait to see the magic falling from the sky.
Wait … magic?
You bet. The snow wasn’t even here; it wouldn’t be for several hours, but the magic had already arrived, especially to the mind of a child and their highly developed imagination. It didn’t matter whether the white fluff had fallen; the magic was here.
These are kids growing up in Northeastern Arkansas. They didn’t live in Wyoming, Iowa, and Missouri, where snowfall was a given annual event, as I did. Here, the white wonderland happens every few years, although admittedly, it can appear more often. Where the children live, it is still every bit a maybe, hope, and if. Thus, the imaginary landscape, the magic.
The meteorologist estimated perhaps two inches, and it was a good prediction, much better than the Weather Man when I was a kid. Then they opened the door, looked up, and took a guess. The two inches that fell was a wonderland when seen through the eyes of my kids, but it was a long way from the depth of snow I shoveled during my childhood. I threw it as high as I could, and it still fell back on me. But as Einstein posited, everything is relative.
My kids’ excitement still infected them like it did us. Yes, the magic of snow still conjured fun. The fun was electric and infected me, too, not the snow, the excitement at seeing their faces. That thrilling feeling had its ground in the children, the perfect way for a man to feel the magic even if he has had the last snowflake he cares to have landed on him.
What strikes me about this whole falling crystals thing is the juxtaposition of enjoying the weather by memory or imagination, as the two methods are closely related. Both are cognitive events — to a point.
If that confuses you, let me clarify the two processes. Let’s pretend you want to take a picture with your phone or camera. It doesn’t matter what the subject is: a landscape, a family picture, perhaps your lover. It doesn’t matter, except for the amount of emotional fuel you have for creativity.
Anyway, pick your subject.
The next step is the creative part. How do you envision the actual picture looking? We can complete the process on the spur of the moment, or the coming image can go through a creative continuum to become a complete work of art, á la Ansel Adams.
Now, let’s take the picture. Done.
Time to view the product. Ahh. The picture is just what you wanted it to be. Inspiring.
After all that preparation, we can compare and analyze. But how do we do that? We evaluate the differences between imagination and memory to discover their similarities.
The creative part of the picture is where your imagination directs the composition of the picture as you decide it should be.
The memory section is the finished picture of what you created.
While vastly different, when studied they are the same, like a coin and its two sides.
There are untold things like this: a dichotomy in one perspective and sameness in another.
Each of us is like that. We have many sides. While we are undoubtedly one person, we have portions of us that, to other parts, present as foreign to ourselves. I know it isn’t very clear. Let me try it this way: while we exist with distinct portions, some parts are not recognizable to others — we exist as a conglomerate, all parts belonging to us, whether or not we want them.
I know this to be true of me. I am complicated, as I’m sure you are. Nobody knows our innermost portions, not even those who know us the best. Even after years, I did not know my estranged wife, and she did not know me. Some things we don’t know about ourselves until they manifest.
I spent my life trying to know myself, and my go-to ways centered on kindness, candidness, and frankness. That is how I view myself, but there have been several instances where I failed and needed to grow. Furthermore, some of the things I need to learn have to do with my go-tos. I must learn how to be less kind. Who would have thought? I also found out that I have too much candor. There must also be tact because bluntness does not always work. Blunt and tack are, again, two sides to a coin, and I must use them adroitly.
What must happen within me is the same as you — All of us must follow our paths in whatever direction they lead and trust those that we may have slighted to forgive us if they will. Of course, that means we have to forgive too.
You may learn more about yourself by reading my book, I Am, Therefore I Think, certainly you will know more about me. If you want to watch the trailer, click here. To view or buy the book, click here.
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