Saturday, December 29, 2007

Things that go bump in the night!!

It's been snowing in Maine, which is downright lovely. Scuffing around in the fluffy stuff has made my vacation swell.

Last season I made a screensaver out of all these microscopic snowflake images and had forgotten all about it until now. I know everybody knows this, but I think it's totally amazing how no two snowflakes are ever the same. (I suppose it's possible that it could happen, but then, how would we know??) I also love knowing that each snowflake forms around a tiny dust particle...from who knows where or when. Do you think it's possible that when it snows minuscule bits of the Middle Ages, outer space, WWI, dinosaurs or even our grannies house are falling all around us?? Wouldn't it be cool to find out??

I think snowflakes will always be an inspiration to me mostly because the form is so pleasing. The complexity of nature baffles me... that it would be "natural" for water vapor to condense outwardly in these branching, lace like shapes.

We look at the finished snowflake and see it's difficulty. Wouldn't it be much easier to just toss down big blobs instead? But the thing is, as I read about how the branches form, the result I see as difficult is actually the easier path for a snow crystal. A small bump on the surface of a growing crystal means the water molecules have a shorter distance to travel. As the bump sticks out more and more it grows faster and faster and then other bumps form on that branch and start to grow faster and man, how it gets to look so pretty is beyond me!
I'm humbled to think that such complexity erupts out of all things, ease. I think about how this relates to our humanity and desire to create. I often get stuck be hind giant walls that make me think I need to know exactly how to do something before I do it, or that I have to plain something out perfectly in order to truly be good at what I do.... not wanting any bumps in the road. But looking at this example from nature, which in my opinion creates some of the most beautiful objects ever, it turns out that the bumps in the road that are the more important part.

So how does one find his or her own ease? How do you leave space in your process to allow these bumps to influence your work?
Do take a moment to admire the snowflake that just landed on your sleeve, but then take a step back and imagine the millions of dust particles just waiting in the wings. We all have ideas, like dust particles, just waiting to be formed.

Oh, and speaking of bumps in the night, here's an image from a snowy night time walk the other evening...
Doesn't the tree look like cauliflower or coral??


Kj said...

love these thoughts- and i definatley thoght that was coral underwater

Jen HW said...

I. Love. This. Post!

Can you imagine if, during a snowstorm, we could actually SEE the patterns of each one of those incredible singular marvels that are falling by the thousand-thousands? We would have seizures of amazement.

I am in the midst of work on my novel again lately and can totally relate to your thoughts about wanting your creative process all planned out, no troublesome bumps. But I also agree with your conclusions. The unlikely instructions we get in the guise of glitches along the way are more helpful than they seem!

I love you Kim! Happy New Year!

Keepitmoving said...

Aw shucks guys! Love you right back Jen!Happy New Year too!

Ropheka said...