Sisyphus and Snow


It’s been some time. Despite the nagging voice in the back of my mind, consistently and insistently demanding me to write something on the blog. I desisted. I felt there was something better coming. Something actually worthwhile to write about.  There were times I almost gave in, times I almost threw up another post of nothing in particular. Y’know, like the last several. Easy to write, probably easy to read, and generally empty of anything resembling importance. 

However, as I was driving today, enjoying the heady feeling of an evening with no real plans and watching the freshly falling snow, I was struck by an idea. One of those ideas that makes you sit up a little straighter and start muttering to yourself. Now, every idea I’ve ever had has always sounded amazing in the echo chamber of my mind. The real test of integrity is when I actually try and write the damn thing. Because here’s the note I took at a stoplight. “Brownian motion being the basis of all life and structure, therefore stagnation equals death. Apply to endeavors.”

Ready for it? Here we go!

It was the snow that brought Brownian motion into mind. Without getting too far into detail, Brownian motion is the random and constant movement of particles suspended in a liquid or gas. After all, most of matter is 99% empty space and the rest is tiny specks of nothing whizzing around at stupid speeds, Brownian motion has a hand in that. Sort of.

If you say that fast enough in the right company, everyone will be impressed.

The cool thing about it though, isn’t the speed, it’s what increases or decreases the speeds of the motion. Temperature and pressure. 

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth this has to do with me procrastinating on writing a blog post about karate, Star Wars, life, or lamenting about the state of current desserts. This blog started out as a type of experiment. I had tons and tons of ideas suspended in a given medium (in this particular instance, my brain.) With a bit of heat and work from my end, and the pressure of Grad school, I was able to create a ton of posts and start pumping out stories of a tone and style I was pleased with. Those little particles were really moving and I was making something great. 

I hoped. 

But, like with every chemical reaction, after enough time the heat started to leave the system. There was an emotional thermodynamics at work. Less pressure from Grad school, less excitement from my end, and a cooling of responses and reactions led to a slow and gentle decline into a static construct. 

Ice. Otherwise known as a dead blog. 

Now, the really cool thing about physics, well one of the really cool things about physics, is the idea that nothing is ever really frozen. No matter how cold you get the ice, or how much energy you take out of it, there’s always going to be a little wobble somewhere. The only way to get around this is by achieving absolute zero, something that hasn’t been done yet, but we’re getting there. (And if you want to see neat stuff, look up supercooled materials and all the wacky stuff they do.) 

So, there’s always a wobble. Somewhere. The potential for change and growth is ALWAYS there. Sometimes it just takes a little more work, a little more energy, and maybe a lot of pressure, to get the system back to burning brightly. 

The trick of it is taking advantage of the wobble. It’s hard, ignoring the wobble is when we start doing things like cleaning the kitchen, finally, folding the laundry, or paying bills. It’s remarkable easy to look past the wobble to the big wall of frozen “used to be” and claim that is the fate of all who wander. 

Sometimes being excessively melodramatic lends a sense of purpose to the whole procrastination journey.

Like dressing as a dinosaur and standing on picnic tables. Still have the business call, though. 

And we all do this. Why? Because getting that whole idea warmed up, back into shape and functioning again is freakin’ HARD. And no-one wants to do it. Emotional physics, just like real physics, is lazy. Objects at rest stay at rest, objects in motion will stay in motion provided they don’t run into anything (like, y’know, air). Which never happens, so they will also slow down. So it’s a constant uphill battle with a big-ass rock and, to keep the analogy going, it keeps on rolling down the hill.  Paragraph

Change and constant sustained effort over time (Delta, anyone?). Is the driving force behind making that wobble into something more like a shake, and shake into a shimmy, and the shimmy into a shudder, and eventually, after a dozen more iterations, the idea is malleable again and it’s almost moving on its own.

But not quite.   

Every endeavor, no matter how small or large, will always need a push, a redirection, and little nudge to keep it going. And, in a way, that’s the beauty or it. You can never be completely un-invested in something you create. In order for it to continue, to grow and change, you need to be there, thinking, and pushing, and occasionally slipping and chasing the rock back down the hill. 

One thought on “Sisyphus and Snow

  1. Barbara

    Possibly your best random thought sequence yet!. Brownian motion, dinosaurs, physics and classical mythology oddly making sense on a blog about karate, Star Wars and life. We always knew you could do it!

    Liked by 1 person

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