“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.” Source
This embodied sense of play extends to other sources of the word. The Proto-West Germanic plegōjanan meaning occupy oneself about” and the Middle Dutch pleyen “to rejoice, be glad. Source
Let us arrive as children to this huge playground – the universe.
In play we move below the level of the serious,
as the child does; but we can also move above it—
in the realm of the beautiful and the sacred.
If I get to pick what I want to do, then it’s play… if someone else tells me that I have to do it, then it’s work.
They are enlightened who join in this play knowing it as play, for people suffer only because they take as serious what the gods made for fun.
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
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old, but rather we grow old because we stop playing.
To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2021 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘PLAY’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)