The Symbol of Chess

Three days in a row last week, I scrolled on my little smartphone to see a different white girl posting a picture to Instagram of a chess board in various states of setup and play.

I looked on, livid, as these people proved their sophistication and love of The Queen’s Gambit – not through a picture of themselves playing chess, or a picture of their friend and a chess board. But simply an image of the board itself. Laid out in a park or at a table, photographed just so to represent not only the game they so quickly adopted as their own, but the sweater, purse and Fuji water that lay beside it.

No longer a game, but a status symbol.

I miss my high school chess team – short though my tenure was.

I realize this is extremely petty, but my only poignant thought this evening, flipping through the notebook pages of the day, was my disgust with these photographs. I apologize. But now I will try and take this disgust, and think about it more and turn it into something that adds a little bit of value to the world.

Writer’s legacy

This afternoon I was listening to an NFL podcast. At the top of the show, before getting into the normal swing of things, the host took a few minutes to give a tribute to a fellow sports writer that had just passed away the week before recording. At the end of it, he said “I loved him. I loved reading him.”

It struck me – that in a world of sports writers, the columns become the people. The words and paragraphs shape the personality and perception of the individual behind them. I think we do this subconsciously every day, but I’d never heard the idea stated so clearly and frankly. I loved reading him. The writer was made up of his words. He was his writing. That was his legacy and his being.

When I think about musicians or directors or artists, their work becomes their personality in my mind.

I wonder if my perception matches their reality.