"Language of the Plains"
I read the book "Free play" by Nachmanovich for the first time in college about 1992 and it profoundly affected the way I thought about teaching art and creating my own. It's premise is that the act of creating is, in fact, the origin of "play". In playing, we allow the ego to back off as we are immersed fully in the act of creation. Begin absorbed and involved with the imagination, we enter into a different realm, where our only concern is for the moment and our engagement and interaction between mind, spirit, and body.
Do you remember being able to cross the line into an imaginary world? Creating anything out of anything, or nothing, just because you could?
Play is not something we practice as adults. It is squeezed out of us as we begin to categorize and assign symbols to our understanding of the world. As we become more linear in our thinking, go to school, join organized sports, our time is filled with checking boxes to complete our tasks for the day. ( It is precisely why we are confident of drawing the symbolic lollipop tree as children, but are less able and confident to actually "see" a tree and draw what is there).
Today we also compete with technology and all of its insidious tendrils. As the world invents new ways to lose access to unfilled time and unstructured thinking, instead gorging every minute with compacted units of organized time, we lose our natural inclination to imagine and create. If there is one positive to going through a worldwide pandemic the past year and a half, it is that we have the gift to reassess how we use the finite time we are given on earth.
It is a worthwhile practice to try to get back to that place of childlike play. The act of delighting ourselves on occasion with momentary celebrations of life, improvising and reacting in real time.
When was the last time you rolled down a big green hill in the soft grass?( My mom never let us pass one by) danced in your kitchen or laid down in the back yard and stared up at the stars?
Taking time to get back to that childlike wonder- where we get back in touch with imagination and creativity- lead us to recognize that the little kid we left behind somewhere along the way is still there, patiently waiting, gift in hand.
I hope you take the time and make space for seeing the beauty and inherent joy in your life today.
Let go of the busy-ness and seriousness it takes to be an adult person and invite the child inside to come out and play! You might realize you missed them more than you know.
With so much love and gratitude to you for reading- Gretchen