I sometimes welcome my darling home by gliding across our wooden floor on my tummy in a movement that I have named The Fish. I decorate him in ink hearts, and insist on kissing his eyelids … I sing Sex Bomb to him on the subway.
I know that these antics must sometimes drive him crazy! Last month an important business acquaintance pointed out an ink heart on his forearm that he had forgotten to scrub off …
I also know that playfulness keeps a sense of fun and lightness in our relationship. I was a totally loopy kid – as I mentioned in a previous blog post, much of my behaviour may well have been caused as a coping mechanism to deal with my inner sadness. What was encouraged as a child was ridiculed as a teenager – and with a desperate desire to fit in with the cool-cats my sense of play rapidly diminished as I grew up. I stopped singing and stopped smiling.
If I had only known that the weird kids at school would turn out to be the coolest and most interesting adults! The playful-weirdo lot turned out to be groundbreaking! They are the artists, musicians, lesbians, writers, and actors … Play is color, spontaneous and wild. Play is vulnerable and life affirming. Play is liberal and unsafe.
A male boss once said to me that he thought women became serious when they had children. He had a family and a wandering eye. I don’t know how true this is, but I can certainly see it’s plausible. Perhaps hormones and brain chemistry alter mothers’ instincts to protect her children with her life! But I would also hope that a child’s sense of play would help to inspire her own.
Men love to play! Male bonding is always about play – watching sports, silly jokes, and at a more intellectual level – playful conversation. An ex-boyfriend confided in me once that he used to regularly full body wrestle with a friend – I was stunned. Although I would personally encourage women to be with men on the same maturity level (!!), recent research has shown that men mature eleven years later than women! The twenty-two year age gap between my husband and me finally sounds reasonable!
The more that we express the playful side of ourselves, the more we can play together in all aspects of our relationships. Playing keeps us young.
We are all children at heart and if we practice playing life like a game it can take the edge off the grim days. The universe is in constant play! The male and female polarities are forever dancing! Life itself is play. It is all play.
I write this blog post as a letter to myself, as a reminder that whatever happens in my life may I continue to play. Perhaps one day I will be joined by a small school of fish beside me, gliding along the floor to welcome someone home …
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”
― Roald Dahl
My Heart Sings For green tea and almond butter toast in bed on Sunday, studying the Kabbalah, walking Upper Manhattan at night and seeing holiday window displays, dinner at the Odeon with my lover, dancing to Kool & The Gang, watching videos on superfoods by David Wolfe, sultry mid-century modern paintings by J.H Lynch