I picked the Neverland mug again for coffee this morning. I have noticed my gravitation to it as of late. My hand hovering over the Wild Strawberry mug, the Evoke mug, the tribal mug, trying to give any of the others a fighting chance, but knowing full well that all I really want is my mug from Valerie with her East Coast photo of the schooner’s sails. The mug that reminds me of Captain Hook’s flying boat, hi-jacked by Peter Pan and his band of Lost Boys with the help of the sprinkling of a certain fairy’s dust.
I am sitting here in the gawdy, olive, floral-patterned chair, drinking my pixie dust infused Neverland coffee and getting reacquainted with Alanis Morissette while reading snippets from a new obscure book I purchased called Finite and Infinite Games.
There is this section:
“No one can play who is forced to play. It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infitinite, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.”
I can’t help but think that my worldview was thrust upon me in a “you must participate and here are the rules, so get to it” sort of manner. I was scared to death I’d break a rule and lose the game. I think that’s what my 30-year-old thrashing boils down to – an eyes wide-up open shriek of, “I NEVER WANTED TO PLAY THIS GAME, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW I COULD SAY NO.”
To think I could have said no at any time baffles me.
“Thank you disillusionment.” -Alanis Morissette
My Love Interest has a name for the intermingling exercises often utilized in social situations where a large group of strangers are gathering over some common theme. “It’s Forced Fun,” he says. Forced Fun may as well be the nickname for my first 30 year stint.
For round two? I’m making my own rules, my own game, my own fun. (It’s proving to be entirely more difficult and not nearly as applauded or accepted.)
“Illusion sounds like you’re making it up. Accept that you’re making it all up.” – Esther Hicks
I know this has something to do with why the Neverland mug keeps making its way into my cradled hands. I am like a wizard, rubbing cupped hands back and forth while something glowing emerges in the sacred dark. I am not even sure what is emerging, but it warms me and comforts me and even burns me sometimes. The heat is so intense and wild.
They say beginner’s mind is an admirable place to hang out, and my dry erase board has been wiped clean. I am sitting here in this moment, my yellow candle burning, my first stick of incense gone out, coffee three fourths gone, Alanis still wailing the truths, the first signs of my family waking, and I am treasuring the massive expanse of nothing. Of anything goes. Of what would you like this life (this game) to look like if it could look like anything?
My creative friend Slim says, “it’s a crazy game, but in the end, i think that’s all it is. a silly game. has to be laughed at, or i run out of tears.”
So here I stand laughing, on the edge of Candy Land meets Risk, of Trivial Pursuit meets Tarot, of War meets Solitaire.
This is me jumping ship – from Titanic to Jolly Roger. I’m not setting my sights on the second star to the right and straight on till morning. I’m creating it (or it is creating me) within my very own cupped hands.
Sometimes I’m not sure I have what it takes. Other times I know I do, if I can only deprogram what I’ve had defined for me as the “REAL world” or the “ABSOLUTE truth.”
When I rode my bike home from work this weekend I discovered that when I am coasting downhill, if I raise both of my pedals side-by-side, my feet the same distance from the ground instead of one up and one down, I go faster. I was picking up such great speed I felt like I was flying. My teeth knocked together whenever I would hit a bump. I had to look down and check my bike basket to make sure E.T. hadn’t climbed inside. I didn’t want the moment to end.
Whoever play, plays freely.
I am looking forward to going dark again with The Wild Mystics. I feel a creative playful energy will accompany me this time through. It is so hard to be freely playful when you also long to be taken seriously. Have you ever laughed at a child when they were lost in make-believe land, only to watch them resurface to “reality” with their feelings hurt or their cheeks blushing in hot embarrassment? I find I am an easy target, but play matters intensely to me, so I must see to it and learn from my feelings of shame and fear and anger and embarrassment as they rise up.