Master of Chess, Winner of None

by Tracey Rich

The water is running. Hot. Steamy. My thoughts are drifting and my mind begins to amble free, but still tethered to my soul. I realize I am wandering in my head through the cosmic chess match we are in as human beings.

This past year saw the world obsessed over the Queen's Gambit. Rightfully so; it was an incredible piece of film work that I too, loved. The kind that makes you wish every cinema endeavor was a piece of art, and you're sad when it's over. The series sparked such a passion that chess sets flew off the shelves and may still be hard to obtain. I don't play chess, but was inclined for an instant. Ganga knows the moves and once beat Marcel Marceau while we were staying at his home outside of Paris. Chess requires strategic thought. I require mind walks in bathtubs.

I am struck by the realization that we must move off the chess board. Something is terribly out of kilter when people are so polarized in even the most simple and basic endeavors. We have to think outside the box or we will be perpetually matching moves. There must be a way of thinking and perceiving outside even the most clever and unexpected moves. For as long as we stay in this game, matching wits instead of meeting each other on the field of compassionate humanity, we are destined to keep repeating the same basic and stealthy maneuvers.

I have nothing to offer beyond my own personal, momentary insight for how we make this leap. I just know it might exist. We are locked in a game; a battle of minds and wills that do not contain the possible options to lift us up and out of engagement if we continue to cover the same ground.

Brilliant minds can navigate us towards triumphant outcomes, at times, but there might be some other field upon which to play that could clear the tracks where we are bogged in the mire. If we stay on the same squares with the same moves, we may become better masters of chess, but we will be the winner of nothing.