I rarely indulge in game-play that involves betting; my mother strongly believed that games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat would invariable lead to poker and craps and forfeiting one's allowance, to be quickly followed by the loss of morals and honor by way of theft. In her mind she easily conjured her offspring sitting cozy in the nearby speakeasy, drinks at the ready and Lou Rawls endlessly crooning through sunrise. An exception was made for Monopoly and Chinese checkers, yet still not encouraged in her absence. Friends of mine gather without fail for bi-monthly bouts of extended bridge, and swear that any sea-voyage will be made more pleasant by engaging in this type of recreation, yet I still prefer the company of a good book or a foreign thriller. And I remain immune to testimonials by 'professionals' who will delve all the secrets of winning for a small fee (shipping + handling extra). As well as convinced that the factors of luck or chance intermittently intercede without purpose or logic.
The players of card-games frequently cite the influences of luck or chance, which can determine the game's outcome. I've alway been exasperated with certain younger friends who flaunt at every opportunity the distinction of being native-born, one of a still relatively small number of individuals who live within the nations' capital and delivered in one or two of the three hospitals (with a maternity ward). Considering that I've experienced much of the city in the past 25 years that are well beyond the comprehension and knowledge of these new-comers, my immediate thought has always been: where you're born is pure chance, and where you choose to live and call home is choice, a decision consciously made in tandem with the heart, brain, and soul. Gregorio, a wizened old garden-hand thoughtfully pointed out today that his birth in Guatemala, a country ravaged by poverty and still plagued by domestic violence, was pure chance; the fact that he crossed over the Rio Grande river in spite of the patrolling border agents and dishonest people-smugglers (or coyotes) was pure luck. If this tiny bit of wisdom could be shared with the xenophobic members of our society, perhaps the voices calling for shuttering the borders and draconian measurements to foster larger numbers of self-deportees may change from anger and indifference to empathy. For, but the universe's draw of the cards, anyone of us could find our place at the table of plenty already taken or unset. Life is pretty much just about chance and luck (lots of it) and hopefully in our favor.
Love a game of Risk, where strategy seems to determine losers or winner.
Hope you enjoyed today's visual treat, and thanks for all your emails this week.