Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘imagination

Unglamorous Reality

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I think it’s only natural that our minds tend toward the fantastical when attempting to interpret an unexpected scene in our otherwise staid environment. Why would the first impression be the simplest option, when a more unlikely one is possible?

When I got home from work yesterday, I discovered a mysterious disruption around the front of my closet. There had obviously been some sort of disturbance. Several odd shoes had been pulled out, shoes I haven’t worn for some time.

I suspected someone had been looking through my shoes, but it was possible my footwear had been incidentally dislodged by a person looking for something else. What could someone have been after?

Well, I can narrow it down a little bit. The only “someone” around here all day would have been Cyndie. The most likely scenario would be that she was pulling out items to be laundered.

Not all that exciting, after all.

The truth was even less glamorous than that.

When Cyndie came in from trimming fence lines, she offered up a set of facts I had failed to consider. Pequenita had barfed in the vicinity and Delilah stormed in to take care of cleaning it up before Cyndie could react.

Lovely. Sometimes things aren’t quite what they initially seem.



Written by johnwhays

July 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

Mad Weather

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Using just a couple hours in the dark Tuesday night to plow and shovel the 9 inches of snow we received, left the overall job of cleaning up around here far from complete. I spent yesterday at the day-job again, arriving home with no interest in rushing out again to do the rest of the plowing or shoveling, so plenty of spots remain covered.

The deck ended up with a fascinating snowscape of waves and lines unlike anything I remember seeing before. We have ended up with a variety of interesting patterns over the years, but never one with peaks so tall while the slots between remained wide open.

It must have been the result of a perfect dryness of the flakes and lack of wind while they fell.

The pending challenge which we are very curious to have revealed, is whether the predicted next wave of snow will double what already fell Tuesday, and make our job of clearing paths and trails –and the back deck– even more challenging that it was already going to be.

Last night, Cyndie and I watched a rented sci-fi thriller, “Life” (2017), a movie that depicts a space station crew studying a one-celled life form picked up on Mars that unexpectedly grows into a threatening menace. At one point in the movie, the lead scientist ponders the terrorizing underway by the organism they had named, “Calvin”.

“Calvin doesn’t hate us. But he has to kill us in order to survive.”

While out in the snow last night, under a “downpour” of more freshly falling flakes, I realized I was feeling a similar sense about the multiple blasts of winter weather battering us of late. My mind tends to perceive the storms as having cognition and intentionally pummeling our region with increasing levels of abuse.

But the weather doesn’t hate us. It is just an unemotional result of ingredients playing out on a global scale. Somewhere, a butterfly flapped its wings and we got walloped by winter.

Still, I can’t deny the distinct impression that, even though the weather might not hate us, it’s behaving an awful lot like it’s a little bit mad at us right now.



Written by johnwhays

February 7, 2019 at 7:00 am

Picture This

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Wanna play a game? I’ve got one to offer. All you need to do is compose an image in your mind… I will describe an image for you and your task is to consciously become aware of the image that forms in your mind. If I mention a tire, what image comes to mind for you? How about a car tire that is not on a rim? Or was I thinking of a bike tire? What images form in your mind for each of these mentioned objects? To play this game, you make a concerted effort to consciously capture the images that materialize in your mind. If you create a vision in your head, your brain will not process it any differently than an image you have actually seen and later recall. So, do you wanna make a picture? Imagine this…


Picture a two lane county road under repair with all of the pavement having been removed. There is light brown dirt, and a variety of tire tracks are visible, from trucks, tractors and car traffic. Just ahead, there is a fork in the road where a path of a driveway branches off and curves to the right. It is a double track with some green growth appearing between the tire trails. There are two sections of fabric construction fence visible, a few feet high, with orange horizontal stripes. One fence appears on either side of the drive, along the main road, bordering the greenery on the right and the road construction next to it.

There is a dump truck parked facing toward us, on the right side of the road to the left, and on the far side of the driveway. It has a white cab and yellow bucket. It is relatively small as dump trucks go, with the bucket no taller than the cab.

In the tracks of the dirt road is visible a small spot of what looks like the gray dregs dumped when cleaning the flue of a cement mixing truck. In the distance of the road can be seen stacks of blocks, a few construction vehicles, and the makings of a retaining wall. High in the trees and far in the distance, late in the day sunlight is visible. The rest of the view is in shadowed daylight.


Imagine the scene and get a picture in your mind that represents what appeared to you as you read the details. Then come back tomorrow and see how your image compares to the one I was looking at when I wrote the descriptions.

Written by johnwhays

December 4, 2009 at 7:00 am