“Somewhere in my youth . . . . . . or childhood . . . “ . . . i must have done something awe-fllleee good.” . . . while fretting. play. playing. noun. verb. state of being? likely so. as well, altered state of consciousness. not within a confined, delineated set of cultural parameters. (read paramenters/ors. thank you, J.K. Rowlings.) . . . play, truth be told, has been, is, (hopefully goddesses) always will be the centerpiece of my life. it’s how i was called to work with young children. it’s how i found myself sitting on the back bench of Orange Grove Meeting, 1964. it’s how i raised up myself, how I knew how and what to do to take care of my brother . . . when i did not know how to take care of myself. . . . where was i? feeling like the old professor . . . towering man in his spacious (magical) home, upon the arrival of the 4 . . . to whom he now, from bachelorhood to uncle grandfather, then would it be guide? or was he already a convinced “believer”? always thought of him as C.S. Lewis, himself, joining in and being author and character. now that would be an example of playing? exactly. . . . the irish have an expression. to be human is to learn living with one foot in each world. . . . crossing lines (from mental to political) changes the circuitry of the mind. upon stiller more still reflection . . . isn’t this, essentially, what “evolution” is? that opening where, something not before becomes. . . . i want to help free up the child in all humans . . . regardless of “age,” so that the original senses of play are reawakened in the midst of us. because? play-full, adaptive, co-creative, flexible experiences are the greatest ally for sanity in an insane world. . . . how to provide such moments to children. . . or how to have the willingness to participate in them when children lead us to the opportunity. . . . and, of course, play spawns laughter. what happens in quaker meeting for business when laughter breaks “the glass ceiling” . . . breath of fresh air . . . and the collective light goes to work, again. . . . there’s an element of dreaming in playing. the “regular” sense of time gets altered. you leave a “cultural” world view / frame of reference and return to the senses. usually the great expansion of the solar plexus, vibrating lungs, and rush of . . . is it opportunity? like the jockey sitting in the ranks . . . waiting for “the opening.” (i think it is sometimes called a “shoot”). . . . laughter. there is something, well, magical about play and spawning of laughter.
Mike Paul Michaels began his life among the littler folk in 1963 at Pacific Oaks Children’s School, founded by Friends. His journey has included teaching and living among children and their families in five cultures on three continents. He attends Friends House Worship Group in Santa Rosa, CA, and is a member of Orange Grove Meeting in Pasadena, CA (PYM).
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