En Passant

Today I found out that a good friend of mine, Michael Matz, passed away. We lost touch after I left New England and unfortunately the drift was permanent. He succumbed to cancer before I could get a chance to get up to New York City to visit. When we exchanged e-mails he’d always invite me up, but I let life get in the way. Then all of a sudden there was no more time. Mike didn’t play chess, but he did like the song “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ by his favorite group, The Wu Tang Clan. I can still remember him drinking Rolling Rock and singing along with it on his CD player.  So that’s my chess tie-in for today. Some days the pieces don’t want to move, and they feel like they weigh five tons.

The game of chess, is like a swordfight

You must think first, before you move
Toad style is immensely strong, and immune to nearly any weapon
When it’s properly used, it’s almost invincible

Unfortunately, none us are invulnerable. No matter how hard your spirit is sooner or later you will lose the match. It’s what you do before that day that matters. When it comes time to attack a situation in your life don’t be heedless, but be fearless. I can remember Mike dropping out of college to work in an agribusiness. He wasn’t wearing a suit, he was hauling bags of fertilizer. It was good honest work and he loved it. Good on you buddy.

Raw I’m gonna give it to you, with no trivia

Raw like ****** straight from Bolivia
My hip-hop will rock and shock the nation
like the Emancipation Proclamation
Weak MC’s approach with slang that’s dead
you might as well run into the wall and bang your head
I’m pushin’ force, my force your doubtin’
I’m makin’ devils cower to the Caucus Mountains

There’s more than one approach to everything. If you seem to have only one option use everything inside of you to find a better approach. Early on his college career Mike got put in the exact wrong dormitory. He was a shy kid and, though he was a black belt, the things these Rock’ N Jocks said to him bothered him a lot. Without forcing them to stop, or even just deciding to take it, he continually used a sense of humor to diffuse whatever situation presented itself. It was quite a trick. I know I would have reached the boiling point. The trick of chess boxing  is to parry enough to make your strikes more effective. When he fired back with his wit he made those kids  respect a shy kid from New York with big glasses. Not bad at all.

Don’t talk the talk, if you can’t walk the walk

Phony ***** are outlined in chalk
A man vexed, is what the projects made me
Rebel to the grain there’s no way to barricade me
Steamrolling ****** like a eighteen wheeler
with the drunk driver driving, there’s no surviving

You can cultivate a presence, working the board or walking down the street, that lets everyone know you’re serious. You can use your own flaws to your advantage. If you aren’t the most popular kid in the yard hit the books and become something great. That’s what Mike did. A renegade intellectual and a free spirit I bet he would have been a confident, savvy chess player.
[Verse Three: Raekwon the Chef]
Rough like Timberland wear, yeah
Me and the Clan, and you’re the Landcruisers out there
Peace to all the crooks, all the ***** with bad looks
Bald heads, braids, blow this hook
We got chrome tecs, nickel plated macs
Black axe, ******* styles in phat stacks
I’ve only been a good ***** for a minute though
’cause I got to get my props, and win it you
I got beef with commercial-ass ***** with gold teeth
lampin in a Lexus eating beef
Straight up and down don’t even bother

Whatever you are or want to be it’s alright. You have the ability to live your life without kowtowing to other people’s expectations. Exceed each appraisal of your worth in positive ways that keep them on their toes. If they think you’re calculating three moves ahead show them you can dig deeper. Impress yourself before you worry about anyone else. Live each day like it’s your last.

Gotta get up, and be somebody!

Even your short life:

Looks like the work of a Master
Evidence indicates that’s it’s stature
Merciless like a terrorist hard to capture

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