Thursday, January 19, 2017

Don't You Just Love Synchronicity?

One of my favorite things about reading is stumbling on some obscure reference and recognizing it as relevant to something else I'm working on or thinking about at the time. It gives me that tingly, visceral feeling of being a single neuron in a vastly larger network of consciousness; for just a moment I can glimpse how the network connects its billions of points.

The latest example of this favorite feeling of mine is a single phrase in my current book, Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better. The subtitle is Wise Advice for Leaning into the Unknown, which strikes me as a bit trendy for the timeless spiritual teaching of a Buddhist nun. I suppose the whole "leaning in" thing optimizes search engines and sells books, so perhaps the trendiness can be forgiven.

Before I digress even further: in the introduction to the book, Seth Godin mentions author James P. Carse's book Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility and spends a few brief paragraphs contrasting games that are played to win and games that are played to be played. This seems like a strange concept, at first, until you think of something like music or dancing: Nobody in the orchestra is trying to win the music, right? And no one who dances is trying to finish the dance ahead of all the others. The point of playing is playing. The point of dancing is dancing. And part of the point of both is collaborating with the others who are playing and dancing along with you.

I found this concept really intriguing the first time it was explained to me, and what a delightful moment of recognition to see it mentioned here. Sure enough, a few seconds of searching revealed the book on the TBR shelf, awaiting my renewed attention.

Maybe this year is the year I'll get to it. The signs are pointing that way.

Oh, and did I mention that Kayak Guy brought me belated roses for our anniversary earlier this month? There's a much more deliberate connection between the date and the roses, but I'll take it.

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