Play. Jugar. An appropriate theme for this month when many of our children and families begin summer vacation. A time to take a break from zoom and hopefully some down time for parents. Those of us without children at home are also planning outings and exploring ways to re-enter into and reconstitute community after over a year a staying close to home and physically distancing from each other. May we all find ways to engage in play, jugar this month.
What does play mean to you?
A few definitions of play from our Soul Matters resources:
“Across the globe, many of the etymological roots of the word ‘play’ locate it in the visceral: ludere in Latin refers to leaping fishes and fluttering birds. The Anglo-Saxon lâcan means to move like a ship on the waves, or to tremble like a flame. The Sanskrit kridati also, as in Germanic languages, describes the movement of wind. In play, we are rarely immobile. We’re alive.”
In rare moments of deep play, we can lay aside our sense of self, shed time’s continuum, ignore pain, and sit quietly in the absolute present, watching the world’s ordinary miracles. No mind or heart hobbles. No analyzing or explaining. No questing for logic. No promises. No goals. No relationships. No worry. One is completely open to whatever drama may unfold.
To play is to listen to the imperative inner force that wants to take form and be acted out without reason. It is the joyful, spontaneous expression of oneself.
Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cubley
One of the highlights of this month will be meeting with “The Wildflowers” the first covenant group I have co-facilitated at UUCA. As this month’s theme suggests we will spend some time playing a game, sharing jokes, and exploring play. Below are a few questions we will be considering from our Soul Matters packet:
- What makes something play for you? When you feel free from the burden of producing an outcome? When creativity is involved? When you lose time? When you can just be yourself? All of the above? Something else?
- What did you learn from the games you played as a child? Monopoly, King of the Hill and Dodge Ball certainly instill different lessons than Red Light; Green Light, Clue, Jump-Rope, Pictionary or Hopscotch. What lessons from your favorite childhood games do you notice “playing out” for you in the present?
- What would it look like to sneak a bit of playfulness into your daily chores? Your dinner prep? Morning commute? Exercise routine? Workday? Your relationship?
- Can worship be play?
- Can play be a form of political resistance?
Beloveds, go forth and play this summer! Juegen, querides!