Thank you for visiting. I am a First Nations, US Marine, Father, Survivor, trying to be the best citizen I can be on the giant rock hurling through space. I hope to encourage others as I have been encouraged.
“Whether in sport or life we have a choice whether to participate in either a finite game, or infinite game.” This is according to James Carse, author of Finite and Infinite Games,
The Finite Game: Within a given set of rules , there is a beginning and an end to the game where there is a winner and a loser.
When the finite game ends, there is a point in time where “The winner” claims a “title” of sorts.
“The titled are powerful. Those around them are expected to yield, to withdraw their opposition, and to conform to their will—in the arena in which the title was won.”
Carse points out that our society is a sort of Finite Game. Those who have money and property tend to feel “entitled”, which historically comes from a time where lords of the land held a “title”.
“Some titles are inherited, though only when the bloodline or some other tangible connection where the original winner had been established, suggesting that the winners have continued to exist in their descendants. The heirs to titles are therefore obliged to display the appropriate emblems: a coat of arms, identifiable styles of speech, clothing, or a certain lifestyle and behavior.
The entitled tend not to ask about philosophy or religion, but rather feel it’s their god given right to tellyou about philosophy and religion.
Carse continues that whether intentional or not, the entitled due their utmost to propagate the idea that the principal function of society is to validate their titles which assures their perpetual recognition as “winners”. The cultural refrain comes to mind, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”
When you play a finite game you always have to prove something rather than relishing and enjoying the play. Carse cites 18 time grand slam champion Martina Navratilova’s reason for leaving tennis was not from the pressure of having to win but from the pressure of possibly losing.
Imagine taking away the end of the game.. this is what Carse defines as an infinite game. Suddenly with no end, there is no winner, loser, or title.
Infinite game theory removes all titles. In the infinite mindset, all players are equal. An interesting thing happens when you remove titles, judgement no longer exists. In order for someone to judge you, you must first give them a title. If your finite game mindset bestows titles, putting other players on the “winners” podium, you have only yourself to blame.
I love the recent reincarnation of the Walt Whitman quote, “Be Curious, not judgmental” which inspired a line in the Ted Lasso series, “Only two reasons someone asks you a question. One is that they are curious, the other is to judge.”
In the Infinite game, the end of the game transforms into a horizon, with life milestones along the way. Infinite game play is an open invitation for all to participate as long as mutual respect is shown and the willingness to engage with other players…one step closer to a harmonious society…
2am. The headlights of a dark sedan illuminated the honeysuckle hedge by the front walkway. Looking through the side window, the porch light reflected off the Marine officers silver insignia. Oh God NO!
We laid him to rest at Arlington.
6 months before he deployed, we laid the foundation of a cabin by the water. “This will be our family’s legacy cabin Pops”! “For generations”!
It’s been a year. I eased up to the shore on my paddle board. Whoosh Whoosh, a bald eagle landed on a log right in front of me. Overwhelmed, I began to weep.
The hunted winced as he tried to remove the blood crusted brick red gauze from his gunshot foot. Easing his foot into the cool creek water, the current softened the dried blood, allowing the removal of the bandage. Some of the pain subsided. Minnows darted at the suspended cotton fibers and coagulated blood particles in the water.
“I’m gunna get you Wabbit”!!!
“This guy is serious” thought Bugs as he hunkered down.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff Fields Friday Fictonners challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt thanks . You can find other storieshere.
Powerful lyrics, so reflective of the times we live in. A long emotional winter.
Personally over the past year, an increasing number of my relationships, typically after “Speaking my truth” have grown cold and I have literally run out words to say. Left only with the heavy dense fog of silence residing in what seems to be ever widening gaps.
I recently heard that in Vietnam, there is a saying, “before you speak your mind, wait for seven heartbeats” (perhaps a lesson to speak from the heart rather than the mind). I suspect the isolating truths I spoke were not from my heart but rather from my mind(ego). As Tolle puts it so well in “The Power of Now”, Egos win when they convince us to focus on the mistakes of our past and the worries of the future. Living in the present moment is the ego’s nemesis.
In the present moment, neither the past nor the future exist……
By design we all need to feel loved, be treated with kindness, and dignity. We need the warmth of an emotional Spring. I am ready to “thaw” by striving to live in the warmth of the present moment and stand ready to count to seven in order to speak from my heart, and not my mind. I hope you’ll join me.
As the priest drove away, painted smiles on my new guardians, transformed into distorted scowls akin to grotesque masks in a Twilight zone episode.
The Mister, seethed,“Well Mrs., looks like we have that summer labor we’ve been prayin fer.” Mister was a scrawny crotchety person. Shoulders bare, void faded blue straps of baggy overalls.
The Mrs., although equal in height to Mister, was at least three times his girth.Belching loudly,she walked, protruding rib fat caused her arms to orbit around her body, similar to Randy from “A Christmas Story”never actually being able put them down.
The Mister, spewed an ebony stream of tobacco-laden spit, landing squarely on a saw legged grasshopper, What’s your name“Injun,? It wasn’t the word Injun, but how it was said. The tone inferred dominance. A wave of Familiar Rage sets in.
Grasshopper recovered, burst forth, ricocheting off a scrap sheet of tin roofing. The ping carried. Grinning internally, I too would have my escape, after dark.
“My given name, Binesi. It means…”
“Enough chatter Injun!”
(…”Thunderbird” I thought to myself)
“Get to work! Start by hauling that wheelbarrow to the compost pile. Earn your keep? You can sleep in the loft with the chickens.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction a 200 word limit fictional story based on the provided photo prompt. Thanks Dawn Miller for this weeks photo.
Fictional yes but many beyond the boundaries of Canada are not aware of North America’s Residential school system which was a a cultural genocide of our continent’s indigenous people. A great novel which I enjoyed was When the Legends Die addresses the destruction of a little Indian Boys heritage while bonding with an unlikely father figure.
My Doctor recently retired, I was under his care for 20+ years. I appreciated his demeanor and willingness to listen. After he would listen to me, out of mutual respect, it was my turn.
Right on cue, his facial expression turned to that of a muse. He would raise his finger and politely ask, “if I may share something” and then skillfully weave his medical guidance with relatable anecdotes and carefully selected metaphors.
He had seen me through years of anxiety management, from Zoloft, Paxil, therapy and today, happily, anxiety med free.
On the topic of alcohol he called it, “The Great Deceiver”. He mused, “alcohol may momentarily numb emotional pain, but it doesn’t address the source of the emotional distress..” I filed this away in my brain housing unit under the category: “Hmm, I might have to think about that”
Recently I read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Talking to Strangers “in which he presents the theory of Alcohol Myopia (short sidedness). My interpretation in layman’s terms was an alcohol induced “tunnel vision” where depending on YOUR individual state of mind(happy, depressed, angry, adventurous, etc..), as you enter “the tunnel”, will effect your alcohol induced experience.
I grew up around alcoholics and had a front row seat to a wide variety of drunks, kind, angry, racist,loving, deceitful, and the list goes on..I always wondered why alcohol effected people differently and to me, the “tunnel vision” theory makes perfect sense.
Not to limit my position as simply being a spectator, I can speak also from personal experience. I have drank my share of alcohol and can attest to many of the theoretical effects of alcohol myopia.
I look at it as if you are going on a ride at an amusement park. Step right up folks! What’s it going to be tonight?
Enter the Happy, Celebratory Ride: Enter the tunnel happy, excited. Who doesn’t love a good wedding or celebration. Next morning: man what a great time! Memories made for a lifetime.
The Cocky ride: Feeling cocky going into the ride and the beer muscles appear. You feel invincible. I still have a busted up nose as proof.
The Lonely Depressed Ride: Enter sad, lonely, perhaps self loathing.Next morning: Low self esteem is even worse than before. This can become an endless cycle, and the rider simply wants to numb the emotional pain..
The Anger Ride: Enter the ride mad at the world and watch out to whomever is in front of you. I saw this first hand as a kid. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Racist Ride: I had no idea that the person I was with had racist tendencies until he was drunk, and started shouting racist epitaphs at the middle eastern taxi driver.
The Empty Promises Ride: I experienced this as a kid, yeah yeah we will go fishing, next day, had no clue they even said it.
I am not condoning or discouraging alcohol use and any clinical psychologist’s out there please chime in.. After reading about alcohol myopia and the fact thatalcohol doesn’t change, it makes sense that a key factor of your alcohol experience depends on your state of mind and environment while consuming.
As I understand, Hemingway said that writing for a newspaper meant you needed to forget everything you learned from the previous day on the job and wipe the slate clean because there is a new story to be had for the next days headline.
In contrast, Hemingway said writing a story or a novel was to celebrate and apply what you know and learned in life..
I think relationships are the same way. Some are like newspapers and some are like a well written story or novel.
“Newspaper” relationships are all about the headline of the day. Slights, hurts or even joys for that matter experienced from the previous days story, mean little. Newspaper relationships are the days big headline with not allot of substance. At times you may wonder why you keep the subscription. If a newspaper relationship is to work, you must accept it for what it is and not rain on it with expectations lest it stop showing up on your front porch.
“Novel” relationships are like a favorite book that speaks to you. It is based on trust, commitment and mutual respect in which you allow yourself to be vulnerable, open to the story’s point of view and potentially grow as a person.