Playing Snakes and Ladders with M.C. Escher

snakes n ladders

The problem, as you can basically see, is the complexity of life on Earth and the convoluted way you have to understand the game to win it.  I do not trust the ladders.  They are not sturdy.  They are not strong.   And I fear the snakes.  Will they not bite with poison?  Will they not encircle me and constrict the very marrow out of my old bones?  And when you play the game with M. C.,  he cheats.  He plays in the fourth and fifth dimensions.

It is obvious that I don’t play the game well.  You can tell, for instance, that I am struggling to get a camera to take a picture of a pencil drawing and get all of it in focus enough to bring out the nuances.  It is the tricks of shading and juxtaposition of bizarre elements that got me the “A+” for this assignment in Drawing 303 at Iowa State University.  I couldn’t capture some of the most subtle usage because the paper of the drawing has aged since 1978 and the shading is harder to make stand out against the graying and yellowing paper in the background.  And it is increasingly hard to pick the thematic core of my message out of the hoogah-boog and chizzly-goober mishmash of my prose.

But it boils down to this, with school starting again, and money for bills running out, and arguments with the wife, and kids who sleep all day and play computer games all night, the whole two-steps-forward and one-step-back dance that I must do is making the game too hard to play.  It is too hard to win.  And I must simplify.  No more hopping from double planes of existence into a room where you will fall up to the floor from the ceiling.  And I must take success where I find it.

Heat of up to 105 and drought returning after months of deluge, makes me take pride in simple steps I have taken in the game.  My flower wagon is blossoming only one blossom at a time, but there is bloom… there is success… and flowers seek the sun.


So what does my post for today mean?  Don’t worry about it.  M.C. Escher cheats when he plays the game.  His physics break the laws of physics, and his genius turns around corners that are not really there.  And maybe I only scored a “1” on my roll today.  But it is a good one.  And I have a piece in the game.  I am a player on the board.  And the next turn will come.


M.C. Escher's faulty physics.

M.C. Escher’s faulty physics.


Filed under artwork, humor, Paffooney

4 responses to “Playing Snakes and Ladders with M.C. Escher

  1. I really like M.C. Escher’s faulty physics. It’s a little different them your usual drawings.

    • It is difficult to draw too. I have imitated his surprise perspectives and tessellated patterns before to totally disastrous effects. He was a master draftsman. And he kills at snakes and ladders.

  2. He was such a genius … I have always been mesmerized my his Metahmorphosis!…. All my best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    • Thanks for the good wishes. I think mesmerized is a good word for it. I looked at Escher prints so long in college that memorized some of the cheating perspective and tricks of shading. I still can’t do it half as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s