Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A return to chess last night, perhaps this was the reason for fitful hours of half-sleep. There could be other reasons of course; British politics' decline continues with the wailing and gnashing surrounding the election to the European parliament of members of the British National Party. It appears that, using a tentative grasp of the statistics, that the party actually got less votes than in previous years, suggesting that the rise in this particular wing is actually a decline in the status of others and therein the problem lies. Another long week in politics; the focus should be on the complete lack of attempt at constitutional, economic or even attitudinal reform by those in power. The tide has gone out and the scene is one of politicians paddling around in shallows, pretending to be deep-sea divers.

Whether a ruling party gets a chance as fecund as this to implement new methods of governance again, remains to be seen. Exactly what I want to see, I'm gladly not qualified to say, but like many I'm a proponent of change when politics conspires to be little more than an efflorescence of incompetence and loss.

So the late evening and early morning was taken up with gridded challenges, a gentle set of reminders - which chess pieces do what? Still held in stasis at that position between learned amateur and proficient novice (in other words, I know nothing of openings), I play with intuition and in a purely reactionary way. Still, I attempt to occupy the centre, not knowing whether to react king's side or queen's. Diagonals are still my forte and that which I slowly learn is an Indian bishop defence, a triangle of pawns with bishop at the core.

The evening played out, a threatening stillness in the air understating the determinism of inside. Those silent rules, at work, remained spoken and invisible. Just what weather fronts pass over us when we sleep? The unpredictability of last night's game was carried deep into sleep.

Choice, even in a forced hand, emerges from chess. From the sedimentary layers of law and understanding arrives play. On the surface, free will. Beneath, nothing more than the sparring of finites. Within these determined boundaries we played and talked and then went our separate ways to sleep. Overhead great maps of weather, enormous silent contours, moved with a design on tomorrow and many days after.

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