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Third Meditation on the Applications of Baduk to Life

on 29 July 2014 at 01:03:38 MDT

The next time that someone asks me what I'm doing, hunched over a plain wooden board, decorated here and there with lines and points and scattered stones
I'll tell them that I'm dealing with problems of life and death. And I will be.
I encircle, feint, fend off the shadows from the disused corners of my mind.

Some people say that you can tell who a person is by how they play.
I agree.
I once had a friend who was daring, aggressive, impulsive in his play;
Never a missed invasion, never a held-back play,
So little guile.
His lack of skill (or mine) at the time isn't relevant, here,
Not now, or ever.
Another friend's shapes were always thick and strong.
"Solid as concrete, and just as heavy," I'd tease her,
But her territorial control never missed a beat.

After he left me I cried for hours, then
On and off for days.
He'd only ever been a friend,
But a rather close one. A confidant.
Sipping a sweet ginger tea, I broke down at the board with her,
Then crushed her, after having given her
Four stones
On the 13 by 13.
A month later, I forgot her birthday.

Still I play,
Obsessively
Obsessively seeking the truth behind things.
Not always, not often is this in go,
But when it is
I try to make sense of the present
By digging through the game of my far-flung past.
Still I honor the long-deposed kings and nobility of a war-torn country
My blood
Who I am not sure I accept.

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