i’m reminded again of the need for play in my life. i get so serious and intent on working my practice, doing a good job at what i take on, that i forget the nourishment of and need for play and downtime.
my collages are definitely one form of play, and dancing…how do you play? i’d love to compile a list of suggestions! it sounds funny, but i’m so used to not-playing that i need to find a vocabulary for what play means, a list of things to look at and choose from when i can’t think of a thing except my list of things to do…
thanks for your exploration! i’ll post what i learn on facebook here, too…
12 thoughts on “how do you play?”
i’m collecting comments and putting my spin on them…
–run out and dance in the rain or the snow
–host a party or a gathering of friends
–buy or enjoy a new piece of art or music (museum, concert)
–listen to music–new or old
–watch a favorite movie
–go away for a long weekend
–read a non-work, non-self-help book
–learn something new (for me, needs to not be about learning)!
–join a kid in their play
–playing with words, humor
–calling a friend in the moment to chat
–dressing up for a normal day
–dreaming about a trip, something you’d like to do
this is good–getting my juices flowing! more:
–sitting and enjoying the pellet stove, catching up on magazines
–rolling on my exercise ball–fast, fun, unpredictable moves
–going for a walk to nowhere, taking it slow and paying attention–what my dear friend Lisa calls “sacred meandering”
–stopping at a cafe and enjoying a drink
–eating breakfast out
–doing something creative just for fun!
–cooking and eating something new
–sitting in my garden and reading and looking at the flowers (when the snow is gone!)
–rolling in the grass
–making snow angels
–taking an art class
–exercise that’s fun
Play? It’s tough for me too, so I thank you for encouraging the exploration of this topic. A few things I do: 1) Stream 89.3 for new music and then download songs that I make into playlists with different themes … and then I dance! 2) I dream about where I want to travel next, and then search specifics about a particular city or country. 3) I find a way to laugh, really deep belly-laughing. 4) I hit the art galleries – the biggies or the small local ones. I’m eager to read what others do too…
my good friend, Carol, who lives more in a life of play said something i’ve been thinking: doing any of these things could be work if i have them planned–one of the keys is SPONTANEITY! yes!
from Csikszentmihalyi via Jen Louden: another way to think about it–“create the conditions you need to get into flow — the state where you are fully absorbed in what you are doing, working at the edge of your ability yet confident enough to relax.”
so sometimes planning is required! in my life, pure spontaneity wouldn’t have as much of a chance if i didn’t allow/create the space for it to arise. I’m not the goddess of sacred fun or sacred meandering, so i have to consciously create time for that side of me to have expression…
I think my whole life is spent playing! At the moment it is making handmade valentines. I paint, I make bead and wire jewelry. I go out on expeditions with my sister. yesterday we took the ferry across the sound to visit a cousin for the day. I spend at least one day a week with my two small grandsons and we get out the playdough or something else messy and creative. Have been known to pitch the tent in the livingroom with them in winter, light a fire in the fireplace, and “camp out” for the night. I “cheat” and sleep on the couch nearby, but that is O.K. with them. (I AM 63 after all!!) Have plans for grandmas summer camp next June…will dig a firepit in the backyard and roast hotdogs. Their parents are not into camping so i figure it is my pleasure to introduce them to it. I may get old but i don’t plan to grow up. 😀
i am envious, aunt sarah! it’s not the way my life seems to unfold naturally…
here’s a great poem about this subject from a different orientation:
If It Is Not Too Dark
Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.
Always exercise your heart’s knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:
Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.
Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants –
Why not let them get drunk and wild!
Every rung we’ve climbed on Evolution’s ladder.
Whisper, “I love you! I love you!”
To the whole mad world.
Let’s stop reading about God –
We will never understand Him.
Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe
That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!
~ Hafiz in “I Heard God Laughing – Renderings of Hafiz” by Daniel Ladinsky
and from my friend Laura: “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
of course, my problem has been that i don’t sit down quietly long enough…learning…
Last Christmas I returned to the United States and got my saxophone. I left it there for three years, and realized how much I miss it. I am self taught on the saxophone, but played trumpet for years. When I “play” the saxophone, I try to find and express inner emotions, I try to take a journey, painting with sound as if it were color splashing against the silence. Sometimes I direct it, like when I choose a key, or a motif, sometimes I just choose a mood and explore it, letting my fingers to, and going in a direction I stumble upon. My technical gifts are not great, but I am learning to express something honest and do it coherently, and say something that is to me meaningful, within my capabilities and technical limitations, even while I try to add to what I know my studying scales and music theory. I only play for myself, so I am not pressured by the fact I am not ‘professional’. Most days, when I pick up the instrument, I am able to please myself, and make a statement, to express a mood or to change my mood, and many times, to make something I find rather beautiful. This is a meditation more than anything, and maybe how I pray to the universe. Or maybe the universe is playing me.
miles, i’m interested in whether this is playful for you, or more medittative and inspirational? perhaps both? it certainly does sound like praying. is it also playing? the universe playing you–i love how that can mean channeling and playing in terms of having fun! thank you for that!
I think it morphs. Sometimes it is pure play, like when I just try to play the blues (which is actually about creating joy out of sadness); sometimes it is meditative, if I play something that sounds like Hildegard; if I play pentatonic scales, then it becomes for me very Eastern and spiritually-oriented. But no matter what I play (unless I am really “practicing” in a serious minded way, which is more didactic and goal oriented) the pure joy of ‘playing the soprano saxophone’ jazzes me, and is creative for me as your collages are for you. I looked at your collages; I saved some of them; I found it interesting to “read” them, to understand all of the thoughts and messages were were putting into them. I can see that it is “play” in a fully creative and joyful way. I can see the playfulness you mean.