May 30, 2013

The Spirit of Play

Something to Talk About
by Bonnie Raitt

People are talkin, talking 'bout people
I hear them whisper, you won't believe it
They think we're lovers kept under covers
I just ignore it, but they keep saying
We laugh just a little too loud
We stand just a little too close
We stare just a little too long
Maybe they're seeing, something we don't, Darlin'

Let's give them something to talk about
Let's give them something to talk about
Let's give them something to talk about
How about love?

I feel so foolish, I never noticed
You'd act so nervous, could you be falling for me?
It took a rumor to make me wonder
Now I'm convinced I'm going under
Thinking 'bout you every day
Dreaming 'bout you every night
Hoping that you feel the same way
Now that we know it, let's really show it, Darlin'

Let's give them something to talk about
A little mystery to figure out
Let's give them something to talk about
How about love, love, love, love?

"Let the little children come to me."
Matthew 19:14

Play is just about the simplest thing--you might think. Children learn and grow through play, but for adults, it seems that many are uncomfortable with playing, with silliness; with dreams and hopes. They have rooted it out of themselves and expect the same of others. The laughter, the creativeness, the joy of play, all gone. Some are acutely uncomfortable when in the company of adults engaging in such behavior, even those who may describe themselves as "creative" or "artistic." In the early adult years we all struggle to establish ourselves, to make a living and carve out a life path; all these activities leave little room for play.

In the middle years many now feel bored, dried out, dissatisfied. The things they worked to achieve or the disappointments they have endured make them more or less stoics. With retirement approaching, what is to become of the self in the "second half" of life? There still is playfulness--even if it has been squeezed tightly, stowed into a closet or sub-basement all these years. It brings its own delights and its own joys. Laughter is a good thing for ones' health and happiness. The creative effects of play makes a potent method for coping with change.

The Bible remarks many times that the Divine is much pleased by the play of children. Matthew 19:14 tells us, "Let the little children come to me." But for the adult, re-membering, re-discovering joy, playfulness is not always literal; it may be the symbolic play, the love of the divine, the light casting shadows, rainbows glistening over water; it may originate in your own heart.

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