For our prompt of “Blocks” today, I initially thought about the ABC blocks that I had when I was a very small child. But then Philippe and I have been watching a documentary on the history of video games so my mind leapt forward in time a bit to my favorite game of wooden blocks that made its debut in the 80’s. And that’s why we ended up with a couple of kittens playing Jenga. We used to play this game at family gatherings and it was super fun, but always incredibly intense and dramatic as well. The goal was simple enough, each person takes a turns removing a wooden block from the tower. Yet, each missing block, of course, reduced the stability of the tower. So, each move became a hair-raising endeavor that for one very unlucky person would end in a cavalcade of terror as the blocks all tumbled to the ground. There were shrieks and screams that would end in the kind of full belly laughter that makes life perfectly joyous. I was actually pretty good at the game, but it’s been years now since I’ve played it.
Our family loved playing all types of games, so anytime a new game came out, it was the featured star of that next family gathering. There were so may different games that we played and each one had its own charm. But games of skill and luck like this one weren’t the favorite games. My family loved word games most of all, so Scrabble and Boggle would usually top the list of games that we played consistently. This game appeared again at college gatherings, but soon parties consisted of just chatting and drinking instead. Indeed, I liked playing these games with my family most of all. I miss those days very much, but sometimes when I visit my mother a game will occasionally appear. These days, however, it’s far more likely to be a jigsaw puzzle of some kind instead. Those make conversations easier and give us a chance to catch up on life. Yet, there’s still just a touch of friendly competition to see who can put together the most pieces, of course. Or indeed, who will get to put in the coveted final piece of the puzzle.
Philippe and I put together puzzles during the holidays, but our games are more likely to be of the video variety now. It was fun watching the documentary on video games as I was there for every new little thing that appeared. I was a geeky little kid who adored computers and I dreamed of growing up to create my own video game one day. Like most childhood dreams, life didn’t quite turn out that way. As I grew up there was an endless set of possibilities and options that made deciding what to choose next a difficult task indeed. Though, I’m happy with the choices that I’ve made along the way. Each one lead me in an entirely new direction and allowed me to experience so many interesting things along the path. It’s a path I’m still happily on, and I’m continuing to make those little choices each and every day, pulling out a new idea and toying with it to see where it might take me. While it’s always possible that things could all come toppling down around me, I find that taking little chances is something that’s always worth the risk. Like those days so many years ago, playing with a tower of blocks.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!