So I’ve been getting more and more into playing chess these days. I actually used to play often, and had just yet to return to it after several years of boardgame fasting (too many SORRY!!! flashbacks from my tortured, younger sibling days, perhaps??) But, however I got back to this intricate pastime, I am certainly glad that I have.
I remember the time in my life when I was first introduced to chess. My eldest sister was dating a kind man, who took this little, 10-year-old, “mini-Meredith” tagalong and not only allowed me to be their shadow as they made their way around all the cool and hip coffeeshop circuits of the Black Mountains, but he took it a step further and would teach me chess (and proceed to let me win shamelessly---although I did not know it at the time).
I remember fondly the exhilarating feeling of painstakingly planning each move, steam practically surging from my ears as I concentrated—channeling all of the rules and strategies he had shared. How I wanted to show him I was listening, and using wisely the tools he had given me! (and yes, I wanted to beat him too, of course....)
I can see myself now, as I’d set up my moves-always staying two steps ahead—the inner cogs of my brain whirring and reeling as he countered—forced to reassess and roll onward in forward motion. Some days were dizzying, and I’d feel as if I were walking into a trap that I could not yet see—or that I was missing some crucial part of the puzzle piece hidden from my naked eye. In these instances, it wasn’t until I actually made my move that I would come to realize my mistake—to see what I had missed. I remember how defeated I would feel, and frustration with myself abounded. My shoulders would sag—sometimes (okay, oftentimes) there would be tears (mostly of embarrassment or shame). I somehow saw myself as the young grasshopper letting her Mr. Miyagi down.
Yet, in all these instances, no matter how many ill-planned and foolish moves I would make, I somehow knew I would win…every single time…I came out the victor. I would leave the coffeeshop triumphant—barrelchest puffed up, like a bird preening its pretty feathered form. I like to believe that if it was present day I would have shouted some exultation a la Charlie Sheen as I pumped my fists towards the heavens: WINNING!!!!
Yes, those were some sweet memories. So chess will always have a soft spot in my heart. As I play the game now, I most certainly do not always win on the daily…more often than not, in fact, I get pummeled—my arse handed back to me in a flourish of pride-withering fanfare (yes, my friends here enjoy beating me to a pulp, indeed---but I take it like a champ!)
And in light of this new reality check, I understand that I will not always win every single, separate game. I will most likely continue to make moves that make no sense, and are strategically suicidal…and they will cause me to lose. YET (oh how I love that word!) I also am joyously aware that the entire match, when all the games, missteps and moves are said and done---I still have that someone kind looking over me, who loves me so much—enough to arrange it all--- and I always will win, in the end~
Gratitude abounds, this day—and every day~
It’s your move….