Since going to the University of Rochester and being exposed to new subjects and information, not from the purely conceptual point of view that is plentifully available on the internet but from a detailed look at why the concepts came to be, I have though somewhat differently. This started to change the way I see the world around ever so slowly, enough so that I am only now noticing that when I look at something I no longer let its inner workings go in order to appreciate its use and purpose; I now know enough of how people go about thinking about solving a problem that I can't help but try to reason out how they accomplished their goal.
Let's take the ever-proverbial curtain, so that we can use an analogy to escape my (really rather empty) self-reflecting monologue. Imagine it there, dominating view, shimmering with such deep red that you cannot tell whether it has some blue staining it purple, or whether it is the golden light of the sun that is pulling it to a rippling orange. Behind this curtain is who knows what, magic, most likely - judging by the wind that seems to come from beyond even though the theater is sheltered from the elements. You sit in a plush read seat - more of a throne, really, as they do not typically have seating this comfortable in theaters; but this is no ordinary theater. No, this is The Theater, that which was built by Mankind's imagination in order to exhibit his greatest feats and wonders. The seats around are filled with children, toddlers through teens, the Time Before the Storm who see the curtain unbreakable, and then Young Adults, those who search and scry, The Cynics; the rest hide in the shadowy wings and balconies. As the players make their shows, day and night, getting more and more intricate all the time and never retreating, never looking back, The Cynics see their strings and jeer, call on the puppeteer to show his face. The young do not listen, but for those who grow older and begin to see the strings themselves. As you look you see, catch a glint of silver light - and there they are, those fine strands through which the life of progress flows, animating the players to loud commotion, even with the silence that stands dead in the theater, broken only by the hum of That Behind the Curtain. The edges rise, just an inch, to show even more of the distant glow. There is a murmur now, in the wings, the shadows stirred from their passive observation into active interest. The Young and Older call to each other -
"That is a dead glow, the harsh light of a machine."
"That glow proves that it is magic, that the players are fueled by magic!"
The players themselves begin to resolve, no longer blurry but with detail discernible; what a display! So many colors, and textures. Some are crudely made of wood and dance around just as animated and colorfully as the ones that seem not puppets at all - flesh sustained from Behind the Curtain...
There is more to this story, and maybe I'll finish it someday, but all of the swirling thoughts of my mind are made manifest, sans resolution. I ask you to ponder these things in light of this season filled with color and commercialism, and to know who you are this time of year. Food for thought, as my gift to you.
Once again, Merry Christmas from the whole Heinz family, and may this season be ever better than the last.