Saturday, July 28, 2007


The other day, as I was pondering the old maxim “it’s only a game”, I was reminded that life itself is better pictured that way. In fact, I think the surest way to achieve true contentment is to view life not just as a game, but as a friendly, pleasant spectator sport, where I am both an active player and a bemused fan. Instead of seeing myself as part of an intensely serious contest, the results of which carry life-or-death implications, I need to step back and be an observer at a light-hearted game. I need to see my little “self” down there on the playing field of life, racing here and there, performing weird and wonderful feats, or just temporarily convalescing on the bench. I should cheer, boo, sigh, scream, or applaud for my “self” and the other players, all the while remaining at ease and satisfied because, after all, it’s only a game. With that kind of a distant, bystander, eyewitness viewpoint, I would, perhaps, eventually come to realize that all my daily doings and goings-on, all my earnest endeavors and pursuits, all my seemingly serious thoughts and aspirations, are, in fact, merely part of a highly entertaining game – a game in which there are no losers. (The inventor and referee of the game is the Universe, and it only allows winning. Unfortunately, many of the contestants don’t realize that.) If something “bad” happens to my "self "– a boring class, a flat tire, loss of job, cancer, impending death — oh well, it’s just a game, and anyway, eventually I’ll see my self (and all my teammates and competitors) holding up the cup of victory, as usual. Sooner or later I’ll see, once more, that winning is the only possible outcome for the game of life, and that even death is a victory for life. I’ll sit back, get out my binoculars, and continue watching Hamilton Salsich – so distant, small, and beautiful in this measureless arena owned by the Universe – playing in his intense, comfortable, and buoyant way.

-- July 28, 2007

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