"Ice is forming on the tips of my wings, Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything. No navigator to find my way home, Unladen, empty, and turned into stone. A soul in tension, that's learning to fly; Condition grounded, but determined to try.
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies; Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I." - Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly
I sit, watching flit a pair of bold hummingbirds in the crepuscular coolness. The Sandia Mountains loom majestic in the eastern foreground. My cat perches gracefully on a stool, her hair ruffled by a soughing breeze. An IPA is sipped. The sun has slipped over the western rim of Albuquerque. Albuquerque. It is the name of the city, and city is the name of the malady. Cities are the chief editors and prime contributors to the journal known as “Stress”.
Lives hectic create “souls in tension”. What then, to do, when the crush and press of obligation rob one of the freedom of childhood and make Jack a dull boy? Play is the antidote, the Arrakan spice which can break the desert spell of monotony.
Children play because they don’t know not to. (Although this is a rapidly disappearing skill in the age of i.) Adults stop playing because they think that they know better. Adults instead trundle themselves off to an odd room full of odd apparatus with which they strive to imitate (never emulate) the salutary play in which they engaged as children. They pay for this supposed privilege and congratulate themselves on having “gotten to the gym”, a phrase which in itself seems to imply that the actions engaged in at said place could not possibly have been performed anywhere else. Hogwash. Bullfeathers!
Jack Child (who will sadly, mature into John Doe) knows that moving ones feet in a staccato pattern on a monotonous black revolving belt is not nearly as fun as racing barefoot up a grassy hillside en route to the best swimming hole this side of Greentown!
This same Jack, (never a dull boy) understands that the primal pleasure of whupping, (yes, whupping) his brother in arm wrestling is way funner, (yes, funner) than grasping a handle connected to a cable which is connected to a stack of steel plates and engaging in repetitious single joint flexion, elbow as fulcrum.
The penalty exacted by such dullness takes the form of ennui, listlessness, emotional and intellectual disconnectedness, ignorance of the natural world, and resounding internal pain.
Perhaps we would do well to let the kid out to play every now and then. Why not put away the “I must get to the gym” sense of obligation and grasp the sense of wonderment and play that can make us feel like we are the navigator and pilot, finding our own way home?
Climb a tree, ride a bike, jump up in the air.
If ice forms on your wings, break it! If all work and no play have made you forget the sweet , precious and fleeting beauty of life, get out and play!