Time observation

I have been experimenting and this post is my inner child and the sensible scientist all rolled into one. If you can believe that I am sensible!

I watched Ice melt, it took forever. Did I stay and watch every second? No of course not, should I have? Maybe. Why did I do it? Well I read it in a book and it seemed like a good idea. Let me tell you something it was better than watching paint dry and it was uber productive.

What did I learn? Because we all know that if an author asks you to do something there must be a reason. The book is Conscious Creativity by Phillipa Stanton. I asked Mark to buy it for me for Christmas and he did. I know things are getting really spooky around here. I got the books I wanted for Christmas, I even got Chocolates for Valentine Day, even though I’m on a diet. He’s after something, but that’s another story.

I’m only on chapter two at the moment but I love a challenge and watching an Ice cube melt was a challenge I didn’t expect and wasn’t looking forward to. After the last weekend and not mentioning the CV word, I decided to have a go. I wasn’t even sure if I had an Ice cube. Delving into the depths of the freezer I found the plastic tray I must have put it there at Christmas. It must have been then because we don’t tend to use ice for anything, and would have only made them up for guests. They may even have been there since Summer last, because I don’t actually remember doing any this year.

After cleaning off the remnants of the chicken nugget dust and whatever that green bit was, I put my Ice cube on a plate. It’s not exactly sunny or warm out there so I wasn’t holding out much hope of meltage.

I could have put the plate over one of the candles I have. Nope, that wouldn’t work it would put the flame out. Stick the plate on the Gas stove? Nope that would break the plate. My mind wandered off into the realms of flame throwers and sand blasters and I ended up thinking of the Wall of Jericho and how much easier it would have been for the Israelites if they had sand blasters. I had been watching for 30 minutes and my mind had taken me on an adventure to the West Bank and I was now under the sea and looking at the Nautilus. It was the bubbles I could see. At first the Ice cube looked misty but it soon began to clear and small hairline cracks appeared. As I looked closer the cube hid a delicate lacework of bubbles and I became fascinated by their beauty. I could see the shape of a submarine and Captain Nemo was there giving orders. I had to take a picture and picked up my phone. By the time I had done so the scene had changed and the crystal-clear ice before me was now fizzing. It was, the tiny bubbles started to pop like little stars that twinkle at night.

Eureka, I got it. I understood why I had been asked to watch an Ice cube melt. It had nothing to do with the Ice, as beautiful as it was. I looked at how the structure tried desperately to hold on to its original shape. There must be a scientific (Mark will tell me, I have no doubt) reason why the water held a dome shape for as long as it did. An hour went by and the ice that had changed to water, still refused to spread without form. I wasn’t watching an Ice cube melt, I was spending time concentrating on concentrating. I was the one thing that made the difference between the Ice cube being a cube and it becoming water. I was the catalyst and I was the observer, just as the Ice cube was the catalyst for my imagination.

Got it. Time. You can’t watch time, but you can observe something that time affects. If it hadn’t been the Ice cube it could have been something else.

I think what the author of the book is trying to get you to understand is that time is the one thing that will make a difference to your creativity. I can’t draw a picture of myself no matter how long I have to do it, unless I spend some time looking at myself. As it is with trees. As we grow older the tree we draw becomes more intricate as we observe more of them. I now know that the Ice cube isn’t just frozen water, and erh… that green bit… it is a structure of many forms, with striations and air pockets and bubbles. It encompasses waves and as it took time to form so it took time to melt. In that time, I got to know it, and a little bit more about myself.

I mean who really goes from the Walls of Jericho to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea in 30 minutes. I’m a time traveller, what can I say.

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