What if we gave ourselves permission to play? To dabble and draw and paint? What if it didn’t need to be perfect?
What if it was okay to climb a tree barefoot or stretch our toes to the sky on the school-yard swing?
What if we didn’t care what others thought? Or we laughed so hard we a snorted? What if we built a castle of bright-blue kindergarten blocks and stomped across it like Godzilla? What if we risked looking silly? What if we sang show tunes to the dog? What if we skipped down the sidewalk?
What if we bought balloons or cotton candy? or Razzles or Fun Dip? What if we sat in the front yard wishing on dandelions? What if we ran through a sprinkler? or drank from a hose? or made paper mache?
What if we didn’t take ourselves so seriously? What if we softened expectations?
What if we gave each other permission to play?
You have permission to play.
(I do, too.)
Offered with gratitude to fellow artist Suzi Banks Baum. http://laundrylinedivine.com/suzi-banks-baum/ and her Permission Slip project. When I first met Suzi, what pulled me into her blog was the laundry line image.
I remember as a girl, standing being beside my mother, handing her clothespins, as she was hanging clean sheets on the line. It was a special job, and made me feel loved and important – the memory of it is steeped in sun and has a clean, breezy smell to it. The memory feels warm like skin in summer. I remember wanting to be like my mom, and deciding to create my own clothesline, stretching my green plastic jump rope, up between trees. I would hang my doll clothes there.
An older neighborhood boy, named Greg, spotted me one day and shouted nastily “Colleen Clothesline! Colleen Clothesline!” when he saw what I was doing. He then shortened it to just Clothesline “How’s it going Clothesline?” he’d say every time he saw me, and this lasted for years.
When he said it, I just wanted just to disappear. I was only 6 or maybe 7.
I never played with my laundry line again.
Permission to play. It’s an idea worth considering. Thanks, Suzi, for the inspiration today.