If you pick up a handful of snow and hand it to someone else, some will fall away, forgotten. That person will pick up a little more and pack it in before handing the snowball off, and some more will fall away. And so on and so on through a hundred pairs of hands, each adding a little snow and letting some fall. When it’s in the hundredth pair of hands, not more than a tiny handful of flakes might be retained from the original clump – if that – but all the same, they’ve been playing with the same snowball.
Such it is with culture. Every great book you read, movie you watch, song you love: these are snowflakes. You’ll build with them with your loved ones, and some will fall away. They’ll add their own.
All this is as it should be. At the core of it all is the shape, the way a snowball forms and is full of joy no matter the shapes of the snowflakes within it.
I don’t know if every movie I enjoy with my children will be a movie they eventually share with theirs. But it doesn’t matter. Today, my daughter and I watched Beetlejuice, and we laughed together, and then we danced together, and that moment was joy. That shape is eternal.