Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Okay to Play

My gem for the day (and believe me, I don't always have one) is: It's okay to play.  Rhymes and everything.

Yesterday I put in a full day at work (I'm a teacher and back at it), came home and went into a mad flurry of cleaning the main living area after being met at the door with what surely must have been debris from the hurricane of life.  How is it that we get more done, faster, after a full day of work?  Hmm. Sensing future blog post there.

Flurry of cleaning over with, dinner over with, there still loomed my ever-present list (I have a spiral notebook of them) of things I *have* to do to keep moving forward with my creative desires.  There are some things on that list that are pretty monumental (to me) and time consuming (to me).  

Here's a sample:
  • Figure out how to create blog pages
  • Join Google+
  • Do the thing
  • Figure out why my Networked Blogs thingamabob isn't working and fix it
  • Create Rat Terrier dog breed mug, upload and design 4 images with it
  • Can I make polo shirts?
And so on. What was not on that list is something I have been dying to do since last Friday evening.  Last Friday, some friends and I saw an amazing performance by Paperhand Puppet Intervention.   I have no idea why it is called 'puppet intervention'.  Well, ok, if I want to think deeply, yes, I can figure that out.  But the smart aleck in me, and the first thing that sprang to mind was an image of Pinocchio's friends and family sitting around in a circle. In walks Pinocchio, and sits down, puzzled at their presence.  

     Gepetto starts, tears sliding down his face. "Pinocchio, son. You must stop this puppet nonsense! You are hurting all of us and you know you are killing yourself with it!"  

     Jiminy Cricket pipes up, wiping his tiny nose, "We love you, Pinocchio! We just want you to be happy without all this puppet stuff!"

Puppet Intervention.  

But back to the fabulous Paperhand Puppet Intervention show last Friday.  It was an awesome display of creativity and you should expect to see a blog post and photos at some point.  The point is, I have been dying to upload, view and maybe work on some of those photos.  

Why haven't I?  Well, because I have that honking huge Mega List of things I *have* to do with my photography and writing.  And fun stuff isn't on it!  I can't take time out to do fun stuff like that with that big old list to start working on ('start' is a misnomer - my list is continual, perpetual)!  

And so after a full day of work and then hurricane of life clean up, I decided that everything on my list was too big to tackle at that late hour and I may as well just go up to bed.

But hold on!  What if . . . 

. . . what if I just peeked at those photos?  What if I just played a minute or two with them? You know, since I'm not going to do anything on the list anyway......?

I did.  And yes, I messed with them for several hours and so technically I could have done something on my Mega List.  But I loved it!  Those hours flew by!  I had fun!  I played!  And that did more for my motivation to continue in my creative fields than crossing anything off the Mega List would have done.  It's okay to play.

Here is the image I produced from my 2 hour play session, taken at the Paperhand show:

Caveat for self:  set a time limit when you need to, focus on Mega List when you have to.


  1. I've been smiling ever since reading this. Playing truly is just as important as everything else you do and if you're not good at making time for play or you feel like you should be doing something else "on the list," that just means you'll have to teach yourself to play and think of it as -part- of the list. It NOURISHES your soul, vision, and creativity and without that, what's point of any of the other stuff that makes up that hurricane? Playing makes tackling the list that much easier when you must. I'm happy you chose to dive in:-) You really captured the magic in that moment with the dragon...the pulse and atmosphere of what it means to be alive...all the performers it took to make that moment happen and even though you can't see the audience, you absolutely know they are there mesmerized and that feeds it, too. Amazing

  2. I should not be able to smell the wood and taste the metal on that bass right? Takes me back to resting my face against the violin...I sniff instruments and baseball gloves :-)