Reviewing the Bidding

At the time we first encountered each other, Betsy's family were all pretty deeply into Bridge, Duplicate and Tournament, Master Points and all that. I made a brief and ill-starred effort to learn to play, but quickly realized that Bridge was never going to be something I wanted to pursue, or had any aptitude for. I did pick up some of the terminology, like the notion of Reviewing the Bidding, and turned it to my own purposes. And now after several weeks of Convivial Hiatus, and with the translocation of John and Wende to the fleshpots of Camden, some sort of accounting of waters beneath bridges seems appropriate.

Back before Christmas I started gathering thoughts around Deborah's benevolent universe and setting out an agenda for my explorations. As is my wont, lots of digressive links got collected, lots of books arrived via Amazon, and lots of yellow-pad accumulation ensued—so much that it's almost an embarrassment of undischarged excess. I've sought high and low, from things too small to see through things too large to see, and with detours through the unseeable (viz. The Tao, and the numinous realms) and across eons of Terrestrial time. These are touchstones that continue to resonate:

Events coming from beyond Vernadskian space are exogenous and seemingly random, and have no 'benevolence' that I can imagine. The grand-scale examples include plate tectonics (viz. the recent earthquake) and asteroids (viz. Chixculub, 66 million years ago) and volcanic eruptions; at the micro scale, the incessant flow of "cosmic radiation" (Wikipedia summarizes handily) and indeed the radiant flow of photons from the Sun, upon which Life ultimately depends...

John's invitation to consider "how do we each face the universe in which we find ourselves? What has our experience of it added up to?" provokes the oft-cited response from me: STUDY the bugger and how it works. Read, write, think. Keep seeking new perspectives and attending to the eloquence of others. Resist the compulsion to Inform Others Against Their Will, but know that it's an inexorable force.


All of that is also in the context of recent news of the deaths of friends who had great significance at various points in our lives: Vince Wickwar and Diarmuid McGuire. We're at the age where such passings are ever more frequent, but I'm no clearer about how to relate and respond. A determination to keep on keeping on is the best I can come up with.
Vincent Wickwar Diarmuid McGuire

things like this (just in via Daniel Heïkalo) help:

Maybe the Cosmos IS benevolent.

Creatures That Don't Conform (Emergence Magazine)