Membership and Sudoku

I have been loving the discussion and good fun, while dipping my oar in over at The Hannah Coulter Book Club.

The current entry at the HC Book Club is about membership.  Some people are put off by that term and prefer community.  How does “membership” work in modern life?  Thoughts have been careening around in my head as I’ve worked this afternoon.   

Now it is evening; I’m a bit lost since I finished my Christmas Sudoku book last night.  I love, love, love to puzzle out a difficult Sudoku before I sleep. 

The key, I found, to finishing difficult puzzles is to put the numbers together in a “community.”  When I first played Sudoku, I would try to find all the twos until I could go no further.  Looking for groups of numbers changed my approach.  For example, if you have a box (or row…or column) with four numbers in it, figure out the five numbers missing.  Say: 1,3,4,6,9.  Looking for that combination of numbers in every cell gets better results in a shorter time that looking for single ones, single threes, single fours, single sixes and single nines. 

There’s a lesson lurking underneath the surface.

When we are alone it is harder to find each other, harder to see where we fit in. 

Or perhaps it is just time to turn off the light and go to sleep!


8 thoughts on “Membership and Sudoku

  1. Okay, I admit: you’re pretty much speaking Greek to me, this whole numbers thing! I get that sinking feeling in my stomach, feel inferior, wish that somehow if I concentrated a little harder I could make sense of it….all to no avail. But guess what I do know? We all “fit” each other with our individual strengths AND weaknesses–you are the glue for me in one area, and I am the glue for you in another (or, you lift me up in one way and I lift you up in another). I don’t want to be as good as you in Sudoku–and maybe even more importantly, in Christ, I don’t have to be 

  2. I’m not a Sudoku person, but what a thoughtful post. I agree—I prefer to swim in a school of like-minded fish.Reminds me of the proverb “In the multitude of counselors, there is wisdom.”Janie

  3. I think the main reason “membership” jars with me is because it sounds like Wendell Berry, and not like Hannah Coulter, or some of the other characters of Port William.  It’s not so much that I object to the term as it’s used, just that it takes me out of the narrative and reminds me that Berry has sermons he wants to preach, and sometimes I’m not ready for the sermon, or I don’t want to be reminded of the sermon now – I just want to be in the story!It’s like watching “Scipio Africanus” and glimpsing the penny loafers under the togas of some of the actors, or watching another movie set in ancient times (perhaps it was “Gladiator”) and seeing a small-pox vaccination scar on an actor’s arm.  I’m instantly out of the story and back to where I am.I do believe that community, family, fellowship are all warmer words than Membership, but obviously Membership is the word that Berry prefers to wrap his ideas in.

  4. @LimboLady – Mel, I’m sorry for putting you off.  If someone else had written this using chess as the game, I’d have the same feeling.  My point was that sometimes you can see what’s missing by the absence from a group that belongs together where the “missingness” isn’t obvious outside the group. 

  5. @LauraLLD – Thanks for your explanation and I see your point*, although I don’t agree.  When I hear the word “membership” I hear Burley Coulter’s voice.  But I probably was introduced to membership in That Distant Land. I’m wondering about the connotations of membership.  When I hear the word, I hear belonging.  I bet others hear exclusion.* I used to listen to chldren’s radio shows on the Christian radio station.  The exact point where the narrative ended and the sermon began was the point where I turned the radio off, precisely because I wanted story not sermon.

  6. Well, Carol, I now have one more good reason to like you.  You are a fellow Sudoko lover.  I understand EXACTLY what you are talking about with regard to groups of numbers.  It’s funny, but I used to do Sudoko every night to unwind.  Now that I have a book blog, I read at night to keep up with my page count.  Is that bad? (It sounds so driven compared to the tax man who came to your house and relaxed at the table!) I occasionally do sudoko while listening to an audiobook, but mostly audiobooks are reserved for when I’m in the kitchen so puzzles are a rare treat for me these days. (more drivenness?)

  7. @hopeinbrazil – Hope.  Hope.  Thanks for your comment.  I wasn’t trying to be obscure; but, of course, one has to play Sudoku in order to get the point.  I find Sudoku very addictive; after finishing a book, I go cold turkey off it for a while.  And I can SO relate to the drivenness to get another book read!  Yikes!

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