Oooh, I like this one. Skipping instead of walking. Laughing at a flower bending in the garden. Running across a meadow just because. I try to play every day, at least a little.
Play means games to many, but I reserve the word for unstructured time. Games are nothing more than social constructions. Play (to me) is that time when the mind sits back and lets the body and heart and gut lead. Play make you remember being yourself as a whole being and brings mystery back into life in small, happy ways.
“Try it and see what happens.” That’s play. Look behind a thing and be surprised by what you find. Lift a rock. Take the other trail. Roll down the hill. Wear silly socks and put on your clothes backwards. Why? WHY NOT? Silliness opens us up to the new and wondrous and makes terrifying things smaller and ambraceable.
We don’t do enough of playing as adults. It means letting yourself be open to the world, to breathing deeper, stretching and listening and using our whole bodies. And fear — fear stops that. Silliness opens us up to mockery. Activity without purpose is laziness. Frittering away time on things that bring no clear immediate profit — that is not valued these days, not once we put on our grownup costumes for real.
It takes effort to play in the adult world, where running is frowned upon, when loud laughter meets disapproval, where social constructions block off any kind of activity that isn’t consumption or competition — if we let them. And yes, play be dangerous if taken too far, especially the foolish kind. “Hold my beer and watch this” that is play poisoned by pride.
Play pretend. That’s what I do when I create, essentially. I make reality. I run around iside my own head and oh, what a wondrous FUN play it is to make things from nothing without prior purpose — just to see what happens.
Even though it’s a dark, sad place sometimes, I live for the times when I can play there. Even more for those best times of all, when I can grab someone by the hands and bring them along and show them everything there.
Because playing together is the best kind of play ever. (Look at those tigets playing in the snow.)
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picture credit: Sponchia via Pixabay.com