Friday, January 17, 2014

Birthday girl

Today is Anne's birthday, a significant one, although I'll not mention her age.

I was the oldest of six children; Anne came second. Early on, I chose science; Anne chose art. This made for some lively tussles when we were young adults. Our world views diverged. I grounded myself in the reliable empirical knowledge of science and chose a steady, conventional path though life. Anne struck out on a more creative, bohemian track. When our paths converged, sparks often flew.

It has become something of a cliché to say that science is we and art is I. Like many clichés, the sentiment is largely true. Science is about consensus and reproducibility. Reproducibility in art is called forgery or plagiarism. If Einstein had not discovered relativity, someone else would have done so, and probably soon. If Picasso had not painted his works of art, no one else would have done so. I opted for we; Anne for I.

But there was an I lurking in my we, and Anne helped me discover it. Her I was (still is) inspiring, and rubbing against it, some of it rubbed off on me. My pursuit of the I took me into a different genre, but it's hard to imagine what my life would have been without creative writing.

For that I owe Anne thanks; she led the way and inspired me to follow. Happy birthday, Sis.