Sunday, January 22, 2012

the game


I haven’t done this in a long time. Maybe I’ve forgotten the rules. No written words to go by. I pull the slips of paper out of their tiny painted box and feel my fingertips prickle with the familiar nip of resurrected nostalgia this little plaything brings me.
Not many people have played this game, because I made it up, and its only rules are the ones that feel their way into being as we play it. The playing board is fashioned from tattered handkerchiefsilk and cardstock, and it lives most of the time with a palmful of tiny blue musselshells, some hemlock twigs, three bits of scarlet ribbon, and the backbones of leaves.
This game is a theater of exploration and restoration, a tiny stage of reverent discovery.
It works best if you forget most of what you know about how to find things. No passwords, no strictures against revealing sacred clues.
You can say anything now.
When I built this game I used some marbles and some acorns and some clear glass beads as playing pieces, and then a little green toy mouse with a German name, and then an old Christmas tree decoration, a tiny globe of opalescent glass attached shakily to a strand of wire. A sphere of eggshell thinness like the blessing of a moth’s breath.
You can’t lose this game and you certainly can’t win.
It’s best if you play with someone who likes to laugh and who appreciates nonsense but who also loves the holiness of thimbles and thick smudgy stubs of carpenters’ pencil.
This game is like coming home to me, like being led through a cool oldgrowth forest by the hand, a blindfold of desert sage and rosemary nudging me (and you) into a place of total trust and abandonment of anything but the now.
Come play with me if you will.
Surrender to the foolish joy I offer you
and know you’re home.

©Laura Sorrells 2012
all rights reserved

I rewrote this just now; when I originally wrote it in 2007 it was a response to a website writing prompt about creating a game. I have no idea where it came from either time.

7 comments:

  1. There is a jar of stars and hearts behind that WAX GROMMET, and although you know I am no alchemist, last week while I was waiting for Eric to arrive, (he never showed up) I unscrewed the lid, and I saw your memory. I did not want to tell you....I was thinking you might forget...but now that you have mentioned it, well, let's quest. The blue one will be fine with me.

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  2. I wonder what the game says about you.

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  3. The one I want is green, Robert.
    Deepr, that I am in love with the whimsy of small lost things that turn up after long absences. Tonight it is a tiny gray plastic elephant, the size of my thumb. For real. He's trying to get into the little stone birdhouse I found at Goodwill today. Such are the poems I live for.

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  4. Ahhhhh,
    in that game, there is only the still point,
    the place of all endings and all beginnings,
    where there is no choosing or wanting;
    knowing or not knowing.
    Right and wrong disappear
    into things lost and forgotten
    then found
    as in a dream.
    There is only one door,
    and it opens and opens to you
    and you are home;
    forever arriving and feeling love,
    welcome with what is.

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  5. I love the game and your conversation in comments. These images... Man, I am glad I found your blot! (And thank you for coming to mine, by the way.)

    ReplyDelete

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at riverrun67@gmail.com or lksorrells@hotmail.com.