Infinite Game Feed

Christian Karma


I woke up this morning to some freshly fallen snow.

I grabbed my favourite yellow shovel. I went out to clear the driveway, when suddenly, I realized that something was wrong. Something was different. I was faced with unpleasant reality that I was robbed. 

On the snow-covered driveway, I could now see fresh footprints, leading to and from my driver side door. I observed that the snow had been wiped from around my window. That they must have looked inside, checked the door, and went in.

Getting in was easy, probably because I rarely lock the car door.

I do manage to lock it on occasion, out of habit I guess, but that doesn’t matter.

As I write I am a bit confused.

I’m not quite sure who robbed who. 

They clearly insulted my taste in music because they wanted nothing to do my old Compact Disc collection, or my old breakfast wrappers. They left the dust and loose goose feathers from my old jacket, just as I like it.

They even left my handful of nickels and dimes.

They left them undisturbed, but they did liberate one dirty looney, and several precious stamp-cards for a free McDonald’s coffee.


I’m not really sure who robbed who.

I think I can see the humour in this, because so very little was taken. I think, if I lost something of significance, these words would have a bitter taste.

I’m trying to let go.

To become less and less attached to material possessions. To things. To stuff. The objects in my life that serve and offer very little significance. To become less and less concerned with money, instead of quality of time.

I know I need money. I am just choosing to focus on the experience, and the money as a means to get that experience.

It’s not easy, being raised, being constantly surrounded by bright shiny objects. But the reality is, that you can’t take it with you, when you go.

Shrouds don’t have pockets and your only travel companion to the other side, will be your memories and the things you can’t leave behind.

The way I see myself and the world is changing.

Most of my life I believed in, and measured my life, through what I have come to call; Christian Karma. A sort of hybrid, Buddhist-Catholic, Catholic-Buddhist, accounting system, which dolls out punishment and rewards the believers, for the good or evil, that they do.

I believed (and may still believe) that if I follow and obeyed all the commandments and took seriously all of the countless laws and uncountable precepts. If I worked hard. If I always did what was asked of me. Without complaining. Without regret. If I trusted. Prayed. Kept my head up. Kept my callused hands engaged. Became like Boxer, and cried out loud, I will work harder.

If I did all those things, God would come and hug me.

He would come and help me.

He would be proud of me.

He would once and for all love me.

At the same time, the very moment I stumbled. The moment I fell. For any reason.

All grace. All goodness. Everything that I yearned and needed, would suddenly be withdrawn and hidden from me. I would be cut off from all sources of joy, until the day I would once again find the courage to crawl my way back, and resume the path to righteousness.

I was wrong.

I was so wrong.

Perhaps I wasn’t robbed at all in the early hours of this morning. Maybe I should make it a habit to leave my car door open a bit more often. Perhaps I should leave behind a lot more than just a dirty dollar and some cards for free coffees.

Maybe the person who robbed me needed the money. Maybe they hate themselves and hate their life. Maybe they are just restless and bored. Or stupid. Or a bunch of pranksters.

Maybe they did it because they could.

Maybe they will get high. Maybe they were hungry. Maybe they really wanted and needed a nice warm cup of coffee.

I don’t know.

I don’t know much.

But I do know that materialism is a deceptive trap. A story that can be rewritten.

This is a start.

The beginning of letting go.


quiet insignificance


Our lives are full of quiet insignificance.

Moments, that we just don’t take much time to notice. Flashes that seem to come and go, so effortlessly, so easily, and so quickly.

Quiet moments. Sometimes, loud moments. Chaotic moments. Insignificant moments.

We would be lost without them.

We would defile our humanity without them.

We would be lost.

Without those millions and millions of tiny, teeny, little moments of quiet insignificance.

Perhaps it’s the solitude of reading a good book or an uplifting movement of a good piece of music. Perhaps it’s the company of a good friend, or the exaggerated chatter about nothing in particular. Perhaps it’s a good hearty run. A daily walk. A piece of cheesecake. Or simply doing the laundry.

We are so driven and so blindly distracted, by all the seemingly important things we have to do each day, that we ignore and forget what makes life worth living.

The quiet insignificance of each moment.

If you want to, you can keep yourself distracted by the infinite minutia of your daily chores for what seems like an infinite pocket of time. If you care to, you can become a stubborn dog, chasing its own tail.

And you do.

You look for meaning and happiness in the grand, and rare, if not magnificent moments. In very huge, loud, champagne popping, heart racing, monumental, moments.

Moments which come bearing expensive invitation cards. Moments consumed with confetti. Moments on the red carpet, with blindingly flashing lights.

Yet the meaning of your life, hides itself in the simplicity of the daily breaths we take. Moment by moment. In the very ordinary expansion and collapse of each of your lungs, without which, there simply would be no moments at all, grand or otherwise.

Our problem is that we think we are in control.

We have come to believe in the illusion that we own or govern our own bodies. That we are the sole proprietors of our life. Creators of our own destiny. That we can live our lives on our own terms, and on our own time.

But as John Donne poetically exclaimed; no man, is an island. Entire of itself. Every woman is a piece of the continent. A part of the main.

A significant part of the main.

We are not in control. We are not an island. Not the way we believe ourselves to be.

Our stitched lives are interwoven with tiny little pieces of quiet insignificance.

Moments of hidden gratitude.

Built on very ordinary, and forgetful, moment of human friendship. Especially, when they are quiet and insignificant.

So, if you dream at night, don’t forget that others are awake, longing for a chance to dream.

And if you don’t dream but experience nightmares, realize that others are unlucky enough to live out real ones.

We were taught at school and in our homes, to look and yearn for the big things. The things that would get us noticed. The things that pay well. The things that make us smart, give us recognition, wealth, power, and prosperity.

The things that don’t really matter.

What matters are the quiet moments of insignificance.

They matter, because when we are gone, those will become the moments our loved ones will long for, and pray to God, that had more time for.

Don’t get too restless with living.

Learn to breathe.

To be still.

Learn to be quiet.

And learn to grow in insignificance.


Pawn to E4


I am not the autumn moon, Chris Cornell sang in I am the Highway, I am the night.

The night, not the moon. The highway, not the rolling wheels.

But what are you?

The autumn moon or the infinite night?

The one seems stuck in a gravitational orbit that pins her to insignificance. A life that is not her own. The other is infinite, and mystical in nature, anchoring itself in the infinite participation in everything.

This feels a bit like a no brainer.

The choice is seemingly obvious, don’t you think? But many people, myself included, have chosen to be the moon. We have stubbornly denied our rightful inheritance to be the night.

Ben and Rosamund Zander, in their book The Art of Possibilities, see it this way: you are either a chess piece, or else you are the board.

This is lovely, you must be thinking.  

Moons. Highways. Wheels. Nights. Pawns. Rooks. Queens. Kings. Oh my.

What is this? Metaphor Thursday? 

But let me explain.

For years, and on the rare days I still forget, I consider myself a pawl.

On the good days, I imagine myself as a King or a Queen. Maybe a Castle or a Knight. On the not so good days, I dejectedly accept my role as an expandable pawn. Limited in movement. Born and bred as cannon fodder. Unimportant. Unworthy. Afraid. Susceptible to the sudden power shifts by either side.

I have spent my entire life, it seems, trying to become something I am not. To be a more desirable piece. A more important piece, that matters, in a game I didn’t agree to play. Desiring be someone who is afforded a little more movement. A bit more power, and perhaps a tiny smidge of panache.

But we are not chess pieces.

We are not doomed to react to people and the environment around us.

We are, we are not convicted to do.

When someone asks you how your day is going, they are seeking a little more insight than a hap hazard weather report.

When bad things happen to good people. When we face down our own fears. When we stumble back again into our addictions, we need to choose if we are going to be the moon, or all-encompassing night. A chess piece, or the board.

What you decide, makes a big difference.

If you become a chess piece. Your mistakes become fatal. Your decisions or indecisions become a matter of life and death. In a scarce universe, the things you say and do, bring you closer or further away from the material riches and the life you are dreaming of living.

If you are the board, you know well enough, that you have to suspend all judgement, about anything; about everything.

There is no us and them. There is no black and white. We are everything.

We become all the pieces. We command all the squares.

Yes, we will always be a seemingly insignificant little chunk of blood and guts, but also a meaningful part of an infinite whole.

If we choose to be.

The failures you face today will knock the wind out of you. They will make you spit blood. Drop you to your knees.

There is just no pleasant way around it. The only shortcut is the long way through them.

But in time, those failures and mistakes that shook us to the core become faded moments of triumph, or turning points. They are reimagined as shining stars leading your way to Bethlehem.

It’s really easy to be a pawn. It’s easy to move forward to E4.

But it’s not a game you want to play.

The choice is yours.

It’s your turn.


now what?


You’re all dressed up with no-where to go.

So, now what?

You did everything right.

You worked hard. You showed them what you can do. You demonstrated your confidence and vision. You prepared the way you were supposed to. You even received timely reassurance from all the people in the know, that you’ve got this.

You dreamed about it. You kept your mouth shut about it. You patiently waited and waited.

Then you heard.

You’re not it.

You’ve been passed over.

You’re all dressed up with no-where to go.

So, now what?


Stand still. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t doubt. Don’t buckle. Don’t despair. 

Realize, once and for all, that someone else’s decision doesn’t change who you are, or where you want to be. All it means is that you are not for them.

For better or for worse. Time will tell. But you are not for them.

They rejected what they believed you to be, but they don’t really know you. They couldn’t possibly understand who you really are. They cannot really see what your presence and energy would have brought into their life.

They will never know.

As much as it stings right now. As much as you’re disappointed. Take heart in the fact that this won’t last long.

They didn’t want to dance with you. True. But that’s because they didn’t know you. But if you are honest with yourself, you don’t really know them either. Just because they were there, seemingly available and you wanted a dance partner, doesn’t mean that you were right about them either.

You might have an unrealistic vision of them, just as they had a distorted vision of you.  

So, I think you should go out and celebrate.

You’re all dressed up anyhow.

Not in a bitter, supersensitive, antisocial, passive-aggressive kind of way.

Go and celebrate the beginning of a new direction.

Remember that you are playing in an infinite universe, playing an infinite game, with an abundance of resources and possibilities.

This is not the end, it’s simply a pivot. A change of wind. A new weather pattern.

This is the moment that is trying to show you who you’re becoming and how much you’ve changed.

Life is not a test. It is not a series of right and wrong turns. Or a set of misguided or misdirected decisions.

The object of living isn’t to reach a particular end, with this or that under your arm, or with this or that crowning achievement. Living isn’t about being where you’re not wanted.

Life is not a test, and it’s not an intense game either.

Life is an infinite contest.

A game we play, so we can play again.

Take heart in who you are. Take heart in where you have been, who you’ve become, and who where you’re going.

Nothing has changed.

Just the direction.

So, take heart and continue to look forward.

Don’t look back.

Go out and find a new dance partner.


the problem with the future


We think we know who we are, but we don’t.

We also have the creepy ability to rewrite our own history to suit our desires.

But the future.

The glorious future is what causes us some real concerns.

Dr. Daniel Gilbert wrote Stumbling on Happiness. It is a funny and brilliant book on how the mind works and how it shapes who we are.

One of the thoughts that has become my own is how our mind projects itself into the future.

Our vision of the future seems to be nothing more than our perceived reality of the present, except better, or worse, depending on how you woke up this morning.

As obvious as all of this seems, we cannot see the future.

We cannot really imagine what is coming because we don’t have the architectural plans, nor all the building blocks. Our mind is deficient. Not really deficient, that’s not really fair. Our mind is simply not designed to be a holistic mystic seer. But because we ask, our mind does what it can. It predicts, for better or worse, what our life will look like, with what limited information we have provided.

This is why we have problems with our future.

We are either ecstatic about what is to come, and then are left feeling disappointed. Or we brace ourselves for the worse, and are pleasantly surprised, and feel somewhat guilty.

My mom and dad made the decision to come to Canada and we arrived in the winter of 1985, because the prospect of remaining in Poland was dire. My father was a political prisoner, and an active member of the Solidarity movement in the city of Bydgoszcz.

He could not stop being an agitator, even if he tried. So, facing further persecution, or worse, being taken away in the middle of the night, to be never heard from again, he projected his future and made a hard decision. After some deep soul searching, my mom and dad looked for a way out, and I find myself here, writing far away from home.

After being carved up by the Russian, Prussian, and Hungarian empires, Poland gained its independence on November 11, 1918, to would lose it once again in 1939, and again in 1945. After sixty or so years of totalitarian oppression, my parents projected a future that looked bleak and unforgiving.

And then, just like that, on June 4th, 1989, it was all over.

Communism was dead. Poland was once again a free country.

My mom and dad, who have known oppression their entire life, were unable to see a different future. It is no surprise that they could not see the end of the Red dragon, in just four and a half years.

But it was too late.

The return back to Poland was almost impossible. They did not want to uproot me once again from the Canadian soil, I was beginning to call home, so they embraced the possibilities of the moment.

The problem of predicting the future can be devastating sometimes, because many of us give up on ourselves and our dreams, simply because we are certain we know what is to come.

But we can’t divine anything.

The world didn’t know Communism would fall in Europe. That spandex and hairspray would dominate the music scene in the 1980’s. That the internet would revolutionize how we connect and interact with each other.

There is much we don’t know about the future.

Quite frankly. We know nothing at all.

The only thing we can do is prepare.

But how do we prepare for something we can’t see?

We get to work, we embrace failure, and remain open to any and all possibilities.

That is the key to happiness.

Get to work.

Paint. Draw. Make Music. Plan your garden. Quit smoking. Lose a bit of weight. Ask for forgiveness. Offer absolution. Get a new wardrobe. Try new things. Meet new people. Revisit old things. Get over yourself.


Try new things and be horrible at them. Keep failing and falling until it becomes as easy as breathing. Become fascinated with your own ability to play the fool. It’s hard at first, but if you do it often, people are funny creatures, often distracted by bright shiny objects, and so they will eventually fail to notice you.

Accept all possibilities.

We are not in control. Control leads to ruin.

We don’t ask life questions, she asks us.

It’s important to be open to all possibilities.

To be able to return or accept a compliment. To be able to earn a living doing something we thought would remain a hobby. To be able to go back and be a child again. Not childish. We have enough old men with small idea. But a child. A little you, with unbridled energy, and a tenacity of living life to the fullest.

You cannot run toward the future.

You have to stay right here.

Get to work. Don’t chide yourself when you fail. Embrace possibilities.

If you do.

You won’t regret the future.

You will have stumbled upon happiness.


grind it out


You need to grind it out.

Don’t look for a magic formula, a secret recipe, or something that you forgot or mysteriously overlooked.

I know grinding it out is not an easy proposition, and it’s not what you want to hear at this moment, but the only way out, is to grind your way through. It is exactly the kind of short cut you seek. The only true and tested way. The shortest approach to where you want to be. A breath away from the person you wish to be.

We are not talking about being involved in something toxic or grinding yourself stupid against a dead end. We are talking about your dreams. About your purpose in life.

We are talking about staying motivated when everyone who was cheering you on found something else to do. We are talking about the time when you are left alone, without any real sense of purpose or where you are, or what motivated you to be here, in the first place.

Zig Ziglar, the mystical sage of Yazoo City, Mississippi, reminds us that motivation is like bathing. It is a very good idea to do it well and to do it often.

The rest of the time you just have to grind it out.

Don’t look back at where you’ve been or the life you’ve lived. Don’t look ahead either and get discouraged by all the things still left undone.

Don’t focus on anyone who seems to be competing against you. They have their own journey. They have their own struggles. Their own challenges. So never compare yourself to anyone, and fight your feeling to quit.

Grind it out.

You’re not being asked to be successful. To win. You’re not being asked to know why and where you are going. You’re not being asked anything, except to honour your commitment to yourself, and keep digging your ditch.

Grind it out.

Don’t ask how it is going to get done. Believe that it will be done, and work so that it can get done.

Don’t measure. Don’t count. Don’t change lanes. Don’t chase butterflies or bright shiny objects. Don’t get down on yourself. Don’t scream at people. Don’t get discouraged.

Above all else, don’t give up.

Grind it out.

You see. Grinding it out means that the game is not over. Hope is not dead. Faith still contains within itself a myriad of possibilities.

Today, you feel tired and lonely. Today, you feel dejected and defeated.

You’re not wrong, that is exactly how you feel, but don’t project your feelings into the future. What you are today is not an indication of who you’re planning on becoming tomorrow.

So, grind it out.   

Pick up your pen and continue writing. Turn on your digital recorded and continue recording your song. Ask forgiveness again. Yes, again. Put down your cigarette. Stay sober for the next twenty-four hours. Go for a walk. Get back in the weight room. Leave your abusive relationship. Leave your stuff. Just go.

Grind it out.

It feels oppressive. It feels tedious. There doesn’t seem to be an end.

But there is.

You will be free. You will be stronger. You’ll reach your summit and begin the climb of another.

But not, if you don’t grind this out.


the infinite game


Life is not a test.

But we often treat as one. We live our lives like a set of hurdles to overcome or a predetermined set of instructions to follow.

We are always at the ready, to study or to cheat someone or something, in order to achieve better results. We embrace the process of measurement. The feel the need to define, judge and be judged by others. We hate the very idea of infinity and more specifically, not knowing how we measure out against those we’re competing against. 

We want to win.

We want to nothing more than to declare ourselves Champions. Champions of the game of life.  Yet we are always stuck in a self-absorbed, mindless, results driven, data centered life, that all too often, leads to a burden which often consumes and makes us sick.

Life is not a test.

Life is a game.

An infinite game.

If there is a God, or even if there isn’t, all of existence and all the natural laws point to the fact that we were born to take part in everything. To do it with gusto. To live our lives and not merely exist. To become who we know we are meant to be. To be happy.

Such is goal of the infinite game.

A game we have always played, but sometimes forget that we play.

In the infinite game, there are no winners or losers, because the point of the game isn’t to separate the strong from the weak, but to spend some meaningful time together. To celebrate. To relish. To cherish. To find meaning and purpose in our lives.

You might be tired and frustrated this morning, probably because you are playing a finite game.

You’ve decided, on the advice of your guidance counsellor, that you must be someone or have something in order to be worthy, or belong.

You exist in the realm of doing, but you need to shift your energy leap into the universe of being.

The infinite game is pretty simple, although the rules themselves can become quite complex at times. But that doesn’t even matter because mistakes aren’t disastrous roadblocks, like they are in the other contest, they are simply fascinating lessons, to carry with you, in order to sharpen your skill, and become a better player.

Life is a game to be played with friends and strangers alike.

It is an infinite game precisely because it never ends. It can be played anywhere and everywhere. In all seasons, and on all budgets.

When you go to dinner with your dearest friend, for example, you certainly won’t go out, so you can become less hungry, and to continue your noble quest not to die. I think you’ll go out to share a meal together, to experience each other’s company, to laugh, or perhaps to cry, but the meal, the meal itself, is an inconsequential part of the equation.

We are funny creatures.

As finite beings who need to face our own mortality we become quite miserable when we engage in finite tasks and limited adventures. We are only happy, truly happy, when we participate in things that stretch beyond the temporal world. When we enter the real of faith, hope, and love. We are happy, when we don’t know why we are happy.

I encourage you to take a stand and decide which game you are going to play.

I strongly recommend investing more time in an infinite contest. The finite one has too many cranky, bitchy people in it, who are fighting over a very small square of space, while you have the opportunity to walk anywhere and be anything, surrounded by the luscious infinity of space.

Go out and play.

Never stop playing.

Enjoy the rehearsal.

Performance is a finite trap.