Some of us have weird relationships in this world. Like being friends with snowmen. And snowgals. And all points in between.
I even imagined a world where snowmen can run in races of their own. Scroll down when you get there.
We received a wet snow here in Chicago recently and kids were out making snowmen like crazy. They had lots of personalities. The snowmen I mean. Probably the kids making them do too. Their creativity came through in the snowmen they made.
I carry an iPhone during my runs for Strava tracking, and decided to snap a photo of some of the snowmen I saw during a 4-mile run. There was plenty of subject matter.
Snow people everywhere
Everywhere I turned during the run another snowman appeared down the next block. Keeping the camera on was easiest, and I’d run down the street or sidewalk, jump through the snow on the lawn and snap a photo of one snowman after another.
They were an amusing bunch. Quite diverse in character. Some leaned a little. Others had blank or existential expressions. Others seemed to want to tell you something. Probably it wasn’t so important. How much worldly experience can a snowman have, given their brains are made of ice and they’ve only existed for a day?
Life is precious
But perhaps there is value in that perspective as well. Life on earth is pretty precious to a snowman, you might guess. They know there’s not a lot of time to say what’s on their mind. Other than it’s cold outside. And can you please put my mitten back on. Or my nose just fell off. Plus it’s a little embarrassing being naked except for this scarf.
The art of snowmen
As you have perhaps already seen, I’ve painted a few snowmen in my time. As you can tell I seem to find a little more in their character than you might characterize as normal consideration of such things.
In making birthday cards for my brother-in-law, whose birthday is December 8, there have been a few snowman themes over the years. This past year when I made his card, it featured three snowman in a row. A patch of yellow snow streamed out from the bottom of the third snowman. The words inside said, “Don’t be pissed. It’s just another birthday.”
“You made that card already,” my wife told me.
“No I didn’t”
“Yes you did,” she insisted. “A few years ago. Exact same card. Stop making the same card for Paul.”
Well, it turned out she was right. By coincidence my brother-in-law had saved all his cards over the years and pulled them out to show the family. Some were pretty funny. Others were likely dashed off before jumping in the car with the kids on a cold winter day. But hey, they’re all hand made. And sure enough, about 10 years ago I’d conceived and drawn almost the exact same card for Paul that I drew this past year. Maybe that’s inevitable. Or maybe the mind of a genius works the same way twice. I think that’s how we got the K car from Chrysler.
But then again, maybe not.
The Easter Hare
So I continued my run thinking thoughts about snowmen as Winnie the Pooh might do. Meandering here, wandering there. Wondering perhaps whether Piglet had a crush on Rabbit. Suddenly there appeared on a lawn a giant, freaking rabbit. Made of snow. My. God! I stopped and took a photo. The critter was like an Easter nightmare. Made of snow.
It made me recall the year the Easter eggs we set out in the yard got covered by an overnight blanket of snow.
Must have been this Easter bunny. The Snow Hare. Laughing his way to Easter day thinking about kids freezing their little mitts off trying to pluck eggs out of snowdrifts. Evil bastard. Never trusted that Easter Bunny, really. Too conniving.
An existential drift
Finally I met the Existential Snowman. His stare bore right through you. This fellow had a lot to say about life as a snowman. No Exit, except by melting. We all
melt, really, if you think about it. It just takes us humans longer to do it than it does a snowman.
The Existential Snowman didn’t say much, but he did not have to. I tried to remember quotes from Jean Paul Sartre or Albert Camus. I like this one from Camus: “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”
There. Albert solved a lot of problems with that quote. You can torture yourself with thoughts of eternity if you try, but you shouldn’t. Well, the Existential Snowman seemed to be doing just that. So stop worrying. Go out there and live like there’s no tomorrow. We’re all snowmen and snowgals of a sort. Doomed to melt sooner or later.
The Hot Mess
But try not to live like the hot mess of a snow gal with lipstick smeared all over her snowy face. Have some dignity. And if you’re going to mess around under the moonlight with all the other snowmen in the neighborhood, at least have the class to clean yourself up by morning. Because some fool like me might be running around with a camera on his person, and catch you doing the Walk of Shame back to your own yard.
Or perhaps we shouldn’t blame the Hot mess for her condition. Blame those selfish, horny snowmen instead. The Hot Mess deserves so much better. Albert Camus also told us, “I know of only one duty, and that is to love.”
Camus also said, “In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Good words to follow on your final cold, long runs of late winter and early spring. Run with the snowmen and you find these things out.