“Game over,” you would say when you talked of death, when you talked of death at all, which was rarely, preferring to talk about life and living it until the end. Game over because, for you, dear Chris, play was the essence of life.
You told me once that Japanese verbs conjugate in a variety of forms with the highest reserved exclusively for the Emperor. The Emperor doesn’t converse or fight or write verse, you said, he plays at conversing, plays at fighting, and plays at writing verse. I’ve no idea where you got that from or whether it’s true but I do remember that you spoke with a delighted and defiant grin, as if to say “I told you so.”
I’ve never known anyone more playful than you or more in love with life. Facilitating, teaching, skiiing, running, painting, cooking, dressing up, making love, getting married, were all opportunities to be playful, to be creative, and to be exuberantly delighted. And I was blessed for 15 years to play alongside you.”My mate,” you called me: your partner and your playmate.
Now you have gone – jumped over the hedge at the end of the garden as our friend Adrian put it – and I am left playing solitaire. But I am still playing; you taught me that much.
As for “game over,” I’m not so sure. I have no religious faith but I trust the wisdom of my heart and I cannot believe that your unquenchable spirit will ever stop playing, if not on this level then the next.