What I learned from Jenga.

February 7, 2011 § 8 Comments

Luckily for me, I found a blog-worthy analogy to accompany the lengthy roll of photos of my buddies & I playing Jenga! No parallel between innocent childhood board games and life goes to waste here at Bonne Santé.

As you know, Jenga requires supreme dexterity and the sharp eyes of an architect to successfully dislodge the little wooden pieces and delicately build the structure higher, higher, HIGHER! until the whole thing topples.

My male friends who’d been calculating the wigglability of each individual block using scary maths equations and Newton’s 6th law (that he came up with one night while drunk on cider, playing his new ‘gravity-edition’ Jenga set) yell expletives as the teetering tower crumbles.

Meanwhile I cackle, revelling in the small-scale destruction not unlike a building demolition. I have no tactics or skill to speak of, rather I blindly pick a target, rip it out like a hair-encrusted band-aid and cross my short chubby fingers.



I’m drawn to the repetition of building, repair and eventual annihilation; a cyclic adventure that seems to parallel with the rhythms of my own life, strangely enough. I live to create, layering things atop one another and watching as my achievements gain altitude. At the same time, there is no real plan in my attack; I prefer to feel my way and leave the details to chance.

There comes a point however when the pillars of my conceptual tower begin to wobble, and I feel that familiar sensation of wanting to scatter the pieces like a petulant toddler and start again from scratch.

I’m sure this is not an uncommon pattern; our motivations and interests wax and wane and are subject to constant revision, however sometimes I’m left wondering, ‘How high could the tower become if I invested a little more effort, strategy and perseverance?’

I’m interested to hear if this analogy is even comprehensible, and if so, what are your thoughts? Do you too notice a cyclic, build & demolish-type characteristic in your own life? Should we try to overcome it, or be zen like monks and periodically release our accumulated successes (material & otherwise)?


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