Wishful thinking is a powerful phenomenon. Whenever a Gulf of Alaska storm crosses the threshold from “maybe” to “likely,” I become convinced it’s a sure thing. The swirls and isobars and splashy colorful smears dancing in the forecast maps at Unisys are their own kind of Rorschach test, and in them I see guarantees and promises. In these rainbow wisps of representational clouds, I see death and taxes — explosions of snow, face shots, and grey contrails that you can bank on. Look how much moisture is there! Look at the winds! How can we not get pounded?
Sometimes, my brain crosses the line from wishful thinking to magical thinking, to the belief that by training my thoughts on these satellite swirls I will nudge them to do what I want. If I believe hard enough, it will happen. Some might call it delusional, but I prefer enthusiastic.
Let those without sin cast the first stone. Who among you hasn’t tried to move the barometer with a flick of the finger or to stinkeye the clouds into giving up their fluffy treasure? If people can bend spoons with their minds, shouldn’t we be able to bend storm tracks?
So, here we sit on the front side of a storm, an ocean-sized comma of clouds off the coast, champing at the bits and anticipating a weekend of epic snowy madness. Whether we get it, who can say. But I’m thinking, magically, as hard as I can.
Photo of Alta, Utah, by Lee Cohen
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