It came to me at 4 a.m. I woke an hour earlier and could not force my eyelids to close, so I wandered into the dining room table, my makeshift study, and turned on my laptop. Deep thoughts, remnants of an unfinished dream scattered about my mind waiting for me to release them in a journal or on my blog.
By the time I turn the coffee pot on and settle down on the hard oak chair, the burning words have drifted too far and I cannot retrieve them.
I double-click on Free Cell, a guilty pleasure that often consumes many hours of my day. Silently I reprimand myself for wasting more time on a silly game when I should be writing, or catching a few more minutes of elusive sleep.
It is a form of Solitaire. The cards are randomly dealt into eight rows and the goal is to end up with each suit placed in one of the four cells at the top. I click and drag a jack of clubs onto a queen of hearts. After a few minutes, I watch the cards spill forth in celebration, announcing that I have won another game.
Then it comes to me, as clear as black ink on white paper. The strong attraction to this game is that it makes sense out of chaos. The rules are clear, the goal defined and I know each game can be won, if only I have the patience to sort out the solution. For a few minutes each time I play, I can figure out how to fit the final piece of the puzzle into place and delight momentarily in a sense of accomplishment.
If only life were so easy.