On Aggression

by Mary Padilla

To be dynamic, a snowball must share several characteristics. Having no intrinsic mobility, it needs to roll downhill if it is to roll at all. In so doing, assuming an appropriate degree of friction, it will inevitably pick up speed. Depending on ambient conditions, it will generally gain mass. All this change will drive the process, making it still larger, heavier, faster, and more difficult to stop. As it feeds on itself, acquiring increasing momentum, ultimately we have an avalanche.

But sooner or later it has to hit bottom. Having consumed everything in its path, it will lose motive force. Now its bulk will paradoxically restrict its progression. All that is left to it is to change its state, or, more correctly, to be changed in state, as this is the problem:

It has no mutability on its own, no capacity to become other than what it is, or, rather, than a reduced version of what it was – a random accretion of elements in the surround, stuck together without uniting. Incapable of changing or growing on its own, it must inevitably cede what it has acquired by rolling over things that it incorporated by crushing and compressing them, but that were destined to return to themselves in the eventual and inexorable thaw that will consume even the initial nucleus from which it began.

Mary Padilla: I am interested in exploring ideas by translating them into words.