Yesterday on the bus on the way to school I listened to my pray as you go podcast and the Gospel reading was the passage from Matthew 18, I believe, about becoming as children if we desire to enter the kingdom of heaven. I then started listening to a Speaking of Faith episode about play. I thought this was a rather fortuitous bit of synchronicity. The guest on the show, an expert on play, defined play, in part, as purposeless activity that delights… or something like that. Children are experts at it. Adults tend to get worse and worse at it as we age. We have to consciously choose to keep play in our lives in order to be healthy and well people.
As I thought about it I realized that I don’t play much at all. Most of what I do “for fun” has a very definite purpose (I knit a blanket for the baby to be born, or a jacket to barter, or a gift for a friend… I bake to have something to bring with me to various social events… I read things that will help my mind work through something, for example, my pleasure reading at the moment is a book about pregnancy and childbirth- though occasionally I read for pure fun it is rarely a purposeless activity in my life… most forms of exercise I pursue with a sense of purpose…) I don’t know that I play hardly at all. Kevin and I do enjoy games together. I suppose all the games of Nertz are some play in my life. Maybe having a kid will increase my play. But I was wondering yesterday and today how one goes about increasing purposeless periods of activity in one’s life? And what one might do?
Tonight as I was doing yoga (for pre-natal purposes) I started thinking I should blow bubbles or swing every day. Either would be purposeless and make me pretty happy. How about all of you? Do you play? If so, how?