Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Carpe Diem #1310 Ball Game

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In an earlier episode I told you about "life as a chess game", but as I was exploring the quatrains I ran into another verse in which life is compared with a game. That verse intrigued me so I just had to share it here with you. By the way there are several other ideas about life and death as a game. There are images of the Devil playing dice or being a street-magician ... all to give an image for life and death. Life and death can not be seen separated, because (as we know from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) death belongs to life, without death there is no life.

An image to show you the idea that death uses a game:

The Devil playing Cricket

Here is the quatrain for your inspiration today:

The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all – HE knows – HE knows!

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)


Life here is likened to a Ball Game, actually the equivalent of our modern game of Polo. Ayes are votes in favor of a proposal; Noes are votes against. The first line means that the Ball (Man) has no choice (no vote) in the Game (of Life), it just goes here and there according to the whim of the Player who hits it. The reference here is surely to Free Will and Destiny – we are given Life (the Ball), but how much Choice (Free Will) do we really have in it? We are seemingly just bounced from here to there. But though it makes little sense to us, God (He that tossed thee, the ball, down into the playing field) – he knows what it is all about, he knows, HE knows, for He is Omniscient – he just isn't telling US…. (Another interpretation is in terms of the Rules of the Game: the Ball doesn't know the rules, it just goes here and there according to which player hits it where; only He (God) who made up the game knows the Rules, he knows, HE knows….)

Life (and Death) viewed as a game has given rise to many interesting images, here is another image to show you that.

The Devil playing dice
life is but a game
nature rolls the dices

seasons change

© Chèvrefeuille

I think there is another wonderful game, a game I love by the way, that can be seen as the ongoing battle between good and bad or life and death ... I created a tanka about it:

cherry stone clam
delicious for it's taste -
playing Go
the sweet memories of clams
once tasted

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Well ... life is a game ... so enjoy it, because life is short ... as is a game with a limited time.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

PS. At "My Haiku Pond Academy" on Facebook you can find a new contest in which you are challenged to create Troiku. You can visit the CONTEST HERE.

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