Want to Play?

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”  George Bernard Shaw – Dramatist (1856 – 1950)

I was thinking about how much fun I have had when I allow myself to play freely as this child is doing.  The freedom to explore the world we don’t see everyday, sometimes when it is right in front of us, is a wonderful thing.

I remember when I was turning 65, how I decided to put on some African music I had and begin to dance to it naked in my own home.  And then I got the idea to paint my breasts and make prints from them onto cloth.  I had no idea what these simple parts of my own body look like from a different perspective and it just seemed a fun way to play.  There is nothing strange or silly (well, silly I can live with) about it.  It was playing, and discovering, and it was immensely a fun way to celebrate.  In the end, the two prints I made – one white and one multi-color, ended up becoming quilts that looked nothing at all like breasts.

I once saw the installations of art by a famous artist who did basically the same thing with parts of his body he said he never saw before.  It was amazing, for he had manipulated the images that he got, and nothing was even recognizable as whatever it was originally, but it was immense fun to think about someone to be unafraid to play and to discover whatever there was to find.

It isn’t just the human body with which people are afraid to play and discover.  It is things we all take for granted.  The cracks in sidewalks, the marks on trees, the forms of all sorts of things out in nature, and perhaps a million other things that we really don’t know at all except from a distance.  It isn’t just about playing with toys or playing games that we played as children.  It’s about getting to know the world we live in, up close and personal.  Have you played lately?

 

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13 thoughts on “Want to Play?

    1. I sure admire you taking care of your husband and still managing to do art. You are so right – life can be difficult. I have one perhaps like your husband – too early to know for sure, but a few early potential signs. Luckily it is not yet, but I am 77 myself, and wonder which one of us will be stricken first. Hoping for the best and that this isn’t what I am thinking. I think you are an amazing woman and a true inspiration for others of us who are not young and may have to deal with this too one of these days. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow. I think I should print your comment out and put it in a frame. I am speechless and that is rare. It’s only one day at a time we have to live in so we don’t have to worry about what might happen. I like the go play mentality the best. Enjoy. Love. You are a gem!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You are so right. Thank you kindly for the reminder. I do enjoy playing and it is a lifesaver and has been through my whole life. So yes, it is easy to worry, and a challenge to just go play, but I am up to the challenge.

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  2. Dear Anne,

    It is always great to keep the child in you, the same way when we were young and used to play like a child, feel like a child, laugh and cry like a child. There is something inocent in it which I like – when becoming adults we often forget this time as we are taught to be an adult.. my grandmom used to say to me: Didi, we never get you an adult – and I am happy about this – children play naturally with all kind of things to discover oneself in the reflection of it.

    Thanks for sharing my friend and keep continue to be a child 🙂
    Didi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed your post, Anne, it reminded me of the Picasso quote … Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up … we all need to play more, just like when we were kids.

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    1. Thank you most kindly. I wish play were always where we could go when things happen in our lives that are so sad or difficult to deal with. Yes, when I was growing up, we played with natural things we found everywhere, or sometimes we just used our imagination, but we were happy. A cardboard box could become a myriad of things – a sports car, space ship, fort, etc. We could play out in the street at night safely. Families sat down together to eat their meals, and we all watched TV together as a family almost all the time (except for Saturday mornings). We rode our bikes, and we knew what family meant. We have lost so much. Thank you so much for your touching posts. I cried through two of them.

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  4. Dear Anne, I am reading all the blogposts that I missed because I was away on holidays, and then on sick leave (less fun…) And Your posts are amazing, whatever topics you express yourself on. I have bought your book “Artful Alchemy” on amazon.fr and I really look forward to read it.
    When I read your post I become so much more confident in who I am, because I recognize myself in it. I play all the time in my head. My head is such a fun place to be. My colleagues often tell that I smile all the time, and yeah, I do, because I make a lot of joke in my head or I dream a lot.
    I don’t know if you have seen the movie “la piel que tu habito” of Almodovar, at a moment the main character watch the television, it is a yoga program, and the instructor says something like: your head is your free space, nobody has access to it. And by keeping this space free, the main character managed to survive.
    Play, be aware of the “simple things” and laugh a lot is the beautiful part of Life not everyone on earth have access to, and we have to enjoy. Thanks a lot Anne.

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  5. Thank you so kindly from the bottom of my heart. You are not only a beautiful lady, but you have a truly beautiful spirit and heart and it is an honor and pleasure to meet you. I write always from my heart and my spirit and write freely about whatever moves me.

    I wonder if I can get you also to check out the following wordpress blog, A Million Thoughts And A Heart. This young man sounds very suicidal, and I have written him daily and also tried to find out more about him so that I can make sure he is going to be ok. If he sees that others are writing him who are also real and nonjudgmental, perhaps he can become well again. I would hate it if anything would happen because he seems to have no one to turn to. I am going to ask several other like minded spirits like us to check out his blog too and perhaps drop him a line or two of encouragement. I don’t get that he is very old and it would be a shame for someone to hurt themselves or worse during this time of year when people are so susceptible.

    I am doing everything I can think of to help, but it is very worrisome. I have not been too well for the last week or so with horrible dizzy spells and almost falling over, but I think it is something I can get under control, and it is common for seniors my age to suffer from dizziness and falls. I am going to Urgent Care tomorrow AM. You will see that I too have written this young man, but he sounds so depressed. We have had a number of suicides with young people here in Southern California, and I don’t want anyone to do that, young or old.

    Thank you kindly, and I hope if I can get enough people to write him perhaps he will not do anything. Thank you most kindly. Peace and many blessings, and I wish you the very best life has to offer today, tomorrow and always, Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Anne. I have just checked quickly the blog of this young men and I have seen you wrote him. I will write him a message of encouragement. Promise.
    I am really sorry to hear you don’t feel well. Please let me know, you can write me directly an email so I will get it:
    zenaide.key@gmail.com
    Much Love Anne, get well very soon.
    Zénaïde

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