http://arc-theatre.com/company/productions/gallery/the-breakfast-club-photos/466575_10150624931074170_423459444_o/ Good evening ladies and gentleman
So. I found myself a few days ago with my best friend, at a lake quite early in the crisp morning air, amongst the green of the trees and the wind gently blowing through the murky water- there in a simple moment in time I found something interesting. That the game is not anywhere as simple as any of us ever thought, more so than winning, losing, being successful or crashing and burning in the fire and flames of the next miserable end. It is so much more than all of this. This thing, this ridiculously confusing complex reality that we live in, the dreams we yearn for and the past we seem so haunted by bleeding through the gaps and molding together the personality of you, in this present moment.
I have, for many years, lived to this idea, this thing that life is a game and its being willing to at least play that is the key to a happy and successful life in a world that seems like it doesn’t want you to win. This game, this constant battle for dominance, the need to get ahead, to find that unique edge, to be the next big thing, to do this and that, to be with that person, to show them how much you mean to them, to have the means to articulate all of the thoughts and feelings flowing through your very soul, just for a minute. To be able to do any of this, we must first play the game and through hard graft, understanding and perseverance, we win. Then the game has been mastered and you won the trophy.
Play the game- throw the dice, draw the card, hook the duck. Win. In this quite basic scale, this is a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with stuff, with “life.” Scale this up though. Win the contract, win the job, win the woman, win her heart, to the point she is willing to give her all, to you. That by itself is an incredibly powerful thing for someone to do, to give you their heart and all that comes with it.
This world is not a trusting place in a time where you can find out everything from where someone lives, to what they drive to even what their favorite color is, all from a few taps across the internet on your smartphone. We are even offering up the most personal of information to the clutches of the digital world on dating sites for some idea that if we like the same stuff, then maybe we will have that chemistry with them and that rarely seen “spark” would make an appearance. So for her to trust you, as much as for you to trust her with everything you are, to become totally vulnerable to the point where ultimate destruction seems only a breath away is rare. Rare, because we dare not let this destruction get so close.
We all want to be the puppet master of life and be the one at the controls at all times. What is it though? This supposedly necessary control to maintain this society based manufactured happiness. To me, its resisting the urge to control as you give someone else the means to affect your mind, your heart and soul. There is so much bad in the world, so much pain. Its scary to become vulnerable, because in that second of weakness, in that moment where you give that person a chance, when you let them in and give them a shot at the controls, it could make for anything. I can’t help but think this is so much more than i thought, so much more than just a game.
Why? Because games are just that. Games, no more than blackjack, poker or hook a duck. They don’t matter. You have very little long term emotional thoughts and feelings for the more basic, considerably less meaningful parts of life. The key thing i think is that the feeling is temporary. Fleeting, one second of disappointment there, the next…gone- off to the next “thing,” the next “grand idea.”
Scale that up to something that can affect you so much more, cause such a seismic shift in your thoughts and feelings of life, love and everything in between is huge, for it takes us away from the familiar person you recognize when you look in the mirror every morning. I often don’t know how to deal with this thought, it vexes me for it cannot be explained or understood, or won. We treat the huger things of life as a game, then they don’t matter as much. We work so hard to anticipate all the steps we would have to take in order to mold ultimate victory to an obsessive extent. We become so fixated on this game, on seeing ahead, on understanding, to the point where winning becomes all that matters and everything else, that brilliant, joy filled moment we are working to create becomes, in our crazy scheme, rather insignificant.
Through treating the bigger, scarier, more meaningful in your life as “just a game,” means it shouldn’t matter if something goes wrong, if “I mess something up” or i missed something so critical that the whole game is lost. You can just work on a slightly different attack and then win. But then what? You won the game, you’ve hoisted the trophy aloft and celebrated your victory. Now what?
That’s the point. I don’t think we ever expect to win the game in the first place. Every time you lose, you have more experience in losing and it builds up. Eventually, the only path you see is the path to your “inevitable” failure. Which means you start wandering why you should even bother playing the game in the first place. Recently, with this bigger more shifting developments in your life, along with the thought and feelings they develop, in order to understand them and respect them for the power and magnificence they can provide- i think we need a slightly different approach.
Playing the game is just that. Playing. To “play” give a rather painless impression so when “playing with fire” and causing you and/or those around you a great deal of pain, anguish and misery its going to effect you so much more. You’re playing the game and when you miss something, when you lose, no amount of obsessive predicting the steps, or seeing what is coming is going to stop the tinge of failure and the pain of loss.
Maybe this is a good thing though. A ridiculous thought i know, but what if it was? What if that pain, that thought, that vast expanse in your mind filled with nothing but pain could be a good thing. I have always believed playing the game gives our lives meaning and purpose, but i can’t help thinking its not that simple. Allowing yourself these moments, these connections with people who you love so dam much and that make you feel so good, these experiences that revolutionize your thinking, that allow you to see things you’ve never seen, to feel things you never thought you would feel.
Surely its this. Then as you lie on your deathbed, your family surrounding you in those final moments, a lifetime of experiences and memories filling your mind and the relationships forged in fire that were so powerful that they changed you forever. To live for this, for this to be life and your purpose- to own the stage, to give it everything you have, to put in 110%..
Surely this is more than winning the game. This is winning at life.
Yours, with love as always.