Saturday, December 12, 2009

Play vs Play

Well, to continue from my last post, some definitions would be helpful. Many definitions of play exist. Probably the most common usage involves sports, and this definition is what good old Merriam-Webster gives first for play.

1 a : swordplay b archaic : game, sport c : the conduct, course, or action of a game d : a particular act or maneuver in a game: as (1) : the action during an attempt to advance the ball in football (2) : the action in which a player is put out in baseball

Ooh, swordplay. Now that sounds dangerous. But this is not really the definition of play that I have been thinking about. Although, in a round about way, I actually have been thinking about this, too. Okay, I'm confused, too.

No, the definition of play that captures most what I have been thinking about is nestled in about halfway through the M-W entry.

3 a : recreational activity; especially : the spontaneous activity of children

And, yes, this is the definition that I'm interested in most.

Back to the bike ride from the previous post...

When I started out on the ride, I knew where I was leaving from and where I was going to end up (back right where I started). However, beyond that, I did not have a plan. That is what is so powerful about this type of activity. As I think back over the years, some instances of this type of spontaneous activity come to mind.

Just last year, a few people were over to the house and we played music. We weren't looking at any music. We just played. It was amazing. Wrong notes did not exist. We weren't worried about how others thought we sounded.

One of my favorite memories from growing up on the farm is building straw forts with Matt. We would spend hours up in the barn building forts and crawling through tunnels trying to protect ourselves from an unseen enemy.

For some reason, all this is weighing on me heavily during this advent season. I'm going to try explaining in the next post (or two).

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