Sunday, July 7, 2013
I started playing with the idea of broken rainbows recently. I had a sketch sitting in a folder for months, waiting for me to paint it. Then I began thinking about the "the perfect rainbow". It seemed to me that we always see rainbows the same way, Roy-g-biv stripes with cloud on each side. Why don't we look at rainbows differently? Maybe it's the broken rainbows that are the most unique? Maybe rainbows are not even curved? Maybe rainbows come in all different color combinations and so on. I began to realize that the same is true for the lives we envision for ourselves. We have to find ways to make our lives look colorful and stunning, using what we have, even if we have to put it together with duct tape and crazy glue.
How often do we forget this? Play is all about lightening our load, letting go of of what were supposed to be doing and just being in the moment. As adults, we don't "plan" play, we usually have to be forced to do play. We take the world so seriously then we forget how important play is. It's like laughing, we know physiologically that it makes us healthier but it feels just too extravagant. It's self nurturing, so how can that be bad? Playing leads to learning. Playing leads to lower stress. Playing reminds us of how we used to perceive our world when we were young. All good stuff, right? So then why do we resist? Here's what I noticed.
I started teaching at a day camp this summer. The "playing" really kicked my butt. I'm not talking about physically, (even though it was hard in that respect!) but more in the sense that I had to find a way to be in the same zone as the 7 year old. We were playing legos and I noticed how distracted I was. It reminded me that playing is a muscle you have to keep fluid and active. But to play as an adult is a whole other story. I can see when I resist. Usually, it's when all the adult world crap like bills and emails overload me and I push the play aside. Having a 9 year old does help, since she always wants to play something and when I really allow myself to go there with her, it makes me feel good, I have to admit. I do think the world would be a much cooler, calmer and nicer place if we all valued it a little more too. That's my 2 cents. Now I'm going find those legos. :)
What does it mean to be "living" really? I guess when I think about it, living is about challenging. Living means looking at your demons, looking at all the things that eat away at you day by day. The inner dialog that goes on, the stories that we tell ourselves. I believe that taking baby steps to look honestly at yourself is a huge part of living. This is much easier said than done because it's hard to be completely open to others and protect yourself from pain at the same time. But when we live fully we find a way to be vulnerable and open while also allowing the suffering and pain lead us through to greater love and acceptance.
It seems that there is something about creativity that lends itself to finding connections. Think about it, if we don't connect things we can't make something new. We have to find combinations that work all the time. We have to seek ways in which things can fit together. Just as everything changes so too, everything is meant to connect with something else in order to grow. But seeking connections can be difficult at times. We get comfortable and we let our fears over ride everything. I guess it seems as though there is a bit of courage involved in finding connections because it's not always easy to wander down paths that are unknown.