The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

The Zen of Pong

This may be a bit of a generational thing, but if you came up when I did, the first video game that hit the realms of suchness was a game called, “Pong.” Basically, one or two people could play this game and it witnessed the player bouncing this ball thing back and forth on the screen.  At the time, it was really revolutionary. By today’s gaming standards, it is archaic.
I remember, back in the day, when my bud, Saturday Jim and I, would climb in my van and head up to Canada quite frequently. It was one of those wanderlust things when you’re a teenager and you could actually drink when you were eighteen up there, compared to here in Cali where the drinking age was twenty-one. You know, as a kid, that all seems so much fun.
I remember it was so exciting when we discovered that they actually had a Pong game on the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria, over on Vancouver Island. It was all kinds of fun to sit there playing as we cruised across the ocean.
Of course, that was decades ago. But, Pong is a found memory.
I have a couple of cats. One of them, all of sudden, decided that she likes to play this game with balls. What she does is that she will bat the ball it in my direction, and I will kick it back towards her. She’s really good at it. If she misses the ball, she goes and gets it and restarts the game. She even sometimes banks the ball against the cabinet walls in the kitchen, as she sends it my direction.
I was playing it with her last night, for a few minutes, and I realized it was totally like Pong. One ball, back and forth, over and over again.
I don’t know??? Maybe this cat was reincarnated from a tennis player, a soccer goalie, or something like that??? I mean, each cat is so different. They each have their own personality and they each chart out what makes them happy and what games they like to play.
I used to have this cat who loved to play with rubber bands. Whenever he would decide it was time to play chase the rubber band, he would walk over with one in his mouth and drop it down in front of my lady or me.

It’s just fun to come, at least in part, to understanding the mind of someone you love so much and someone that brings you so much happiness. It is really great to be able to repay that happiness at least in some small way by playing the game they want to play.
The Pong cat, I imagine she could play Pong forever. I mean, it is always me who stops the game.
I try to see it like a meditation. …A moment that makes someone else happy, while I emerge myself in doing something that is a little bit unnatural but takes a sense of concentration to actualize.
We each like what we like. We each like to do what we like to do. I don’t know if that is mediation, however. That’s just doing something that makes us feel the way we want to feel. But, every now and then, when we can find something that not only brings someone else happiness but causes us to focus our mind, isn’t that the ultimate meditation?