Posted by: Andrew G | January 9, 2010

Snow in the Face

Funny thing happened to me yesterday.

I was heading out and so started the car and began cleaning off the new snow from the windows and lights. The snow was light and came off easily, but a fine fresh layer collected quickly due to the wind.

Shannon was going out later to work and hadn’t touched her car yet that day. Being the considerate and awesome soul that I am, the decision to clean off her car came quite easily to me. After all, it’s parked right there, and it is a small car so it wouldn’t take much of my time. Sure, the wind would bring more snow and she would just have to clean it off herself again, but at least it would be a light job. That’s nice, right? Making your loved one’s lives a little nicer, or better, or more comfortable… well that’s what it’s all about, right?

I got through about two brushes of the snow when FLAM! WHOOF! a spray of snow, from my own brush, came up and washed my face.

My first reaction was out loud, and quick: “#%&$ you, G-d!”

And then I laughed at myself.

Even my agnostic point of view, in the face of discomfort, is inconsistent and wishy-washy.

To be fair with myself, I was raised with G-d, and so it is part of my language. This is something I struggle with in a sense. I don’t want to abandon my Christian heritage completely. My parents have a new book, “The Faith Instinct” by Nicholas Wade. No doubt they will have an explanation of their own for my immediate ‘call to the heavens”.

You can try to ignore your childhood as much as you might like, but it’s still your childhood. The way you speak, the way you take information, and the way you treat others all have their roots in your experiences as a child. That doesn’t mean its truth or right. It just means you have to address it and find an understanding of it for yourself.

After my emotional outburst, the word ‘intention’ came to my thoughts. Why would G-d punish me if my intentions were so good? That got me thinking of something I read on the Free Thought and Rationalism forum. Someone was talking about our desire to put intention in places where it just doesn’t fit. I wish I could remember the forum discussion, I will try to find it and link to it. But, the example that was given was about stubbing your foot on a chair in your living room. As you walk by the chair and feel the pain in your mashed toes, an immediate reaction is sometimes to blame the chair (Stupid chair!).

Does the chair turn to you offended and confused? Does it snicker to itself? No, it’s a chair! It wasn’t intending to cause harm or teach you a lesson.

As I moved around Shannon’s car,  now heavy into the analysis of my situation, I noticed the snow was avoiding me.  Ah yes, it knows to be wary for it has offended me. My revenge upon any more snow so daring will be swift and terrible!

No. Here it is. When I was cleaning off my car, I was mostly facing south. When I was cleaning off Shannon’s car I was facing north.

There are so many ways this could be interpreted, and I welcome all the interpretations. But at the heart of it, for me, the whole thing happened because of the direction of the wind and the overactive nature of my imagination.

There’s a lot we don’t yet understand. There’s a lot we still have to do. I’m going to start with clearing the snow from my eyes.

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