Sometimes, putting words on the page is a very easy thing for me to do.  Other times, I stare endlessly at a blinking cursor on my laptop screen, willing it to jump forward and show me…something.  ANYthing. 

Last night was one of those nights.  Blink.  Blink.  Blink.

I wanted to start an introduction to Project: GrimGrin – Gearing up for the Commander 2015 product set to hit in a month and a half, I went back to the shelf to find a lonely copy of the Commander 2014 ‘Sworn To Darkness’ pre-con.  I decided to do a ‘metamorphosis’ project and upgrade it to add it to my staple, so I threw it to Twitter to see if it was going to be the best use of this shiny Judge Foil Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, or if I was going to finally make good use of the pack foil Rooftop Storm I pulled all those years ago.

Twitter has spoken as it often does, and GrimGrin, Corpse-Born it is. 

(Stay tuned…since I also envision doing a similar project with the new Commander product, I want to be done by then.)

So I took some pictures, got ready, and then…got stuck. 

STANDING UP

I made a reference to real-life things occurring in an article a few weeks ago.  To say that Team GDC is having some serious ups and downs would be an understatement at the moment.  There is some good – some extremely good – in all of this.  But there are some pretty awful things happening too.  This is life.

It’s probably no surprise, but my life is settling somewhere South of “extremely good” at the moment. 

Without going into detail, I’m spending a ton of time reflecting lately, which is a fancy way of saying I’m stuck in my own head a lot.  It makes it hard for me to stay on topic, and that leads to the dreaded blinking curser syndrome at 10pm on a Wednesday night. 

Distract yourself, they tell me.  So I wander.  And I find myself re-reading this incredible article by Danny West.  (@Tolaria_DWest)  Now, Danny doesn’t know me; even when we were both active writers on StarCityGames.com, and both covering Commander content, we still never crossed paths.  But I can’t help but get sucked in to his writing.

I’m not feeling the same type of pain that he has had to push through – mine is different – but man, Danny knows about dealing with something personal and painful.  It’s truly incredible what he’s gone through with his illness.  I found myself in his shoes, in his head as I read along with his article.  I was terrified from his pain, and in awe of the support from his wife.  Both very visceral…palpable. 

And then I re-read the last paragraph:

What would I have done in the hospital without Magic in my life? What would I have done without my incredible job and the wonderful people that kept me safe? Big-time health problems make you appreciate the great things in life. Magic is by far the most powerful non-human entity I have, and man, does it feel good to embrace that. Richard Garfield. Pete Hoefling. Helene Bergeot. Mark Rosewater.Aaron Forsythe. Cedric. The goons that ran Inquest magazine. The names are endless, but God, I am so glad these people exist and that they’ve done what they’ve done. Because of them, I didn’t spend the hardest week of my life bored, alone, and depressed. I spent it inspired to build decks, to design Cubes, to embrace who I am.

I play Magic. I am Magic. And I love it.

   This made me think.  Magic has been a part of me for over two decades.  I’ve loved, lost, loved again.  I’ve seen loved ones pass away.  I’ve moved jobs and houses and cities.  I’ve been blessed with two amazing children, who are far and away the brightest shining lights in my life. 

I’ve been high and low.  And somehow through it all, this little card game – the one by D&D buddies in high school introduced me to as a fun little way to pass time – this game has stuck with me.  It has seen me at my best, and my worst.  I’ve had times away from it, but I always come back to it.  It is a comfortable distraction, a  safe place, a bond between friends and aquaintances. 

I’m with Danny here.  I also play Magic, and I am Magic.  I think we all are to one extent or another.

So as we go through the things life throws at us, as we get thrown down and beaten up, we’re all still here for a reason.  I know that I can feel as low as I possibly can, and I can jump in the truck, drive to the shop, and shuffle up my EDH decks with a table of kindred spirits.  It doesn’t matter how old I am or what I do for a living or what is going on in my life; for a while, I can forget and be free of all of that.

That’s pretty amazing.  That makes Magic bigger than just a game.  It makes it a pillar of who I am, and what I can be.  It helps me to stand back up, and reminds me that I need to wether I like it or not at times.  And I’m thankful for that.

I want to hear from you.  What does Magic mean to you?  In what ways has it affected your life?  If you feel comfortable talking about it, what has it helped you to get through? 

Why is this game more than just a game to you?

Cass
@GDCCommander