It all started with a quote by Alan Watts that goes something like this:
“Life is essentially playful”
“I didn’t get it. Why would life be playful? There is so much horror in this world. Not only wars but negative self-expression, depression, pessimism and so forth. That can’t be playful right?”
That’s what I told myself at that moment. I started thinking about this sentence and the explanation behind it. Is life really playful? Am I seeing it in a wrong perspective?
There were all kinds of people walking past me, whilst I was sitting on that train station bench. People that smiled to the sun. People who were so focussed on their phones, that they didn’t notice what was happening around them. People were heavily discussing over the phone. Alan kept talking through my headphones about playfulness about role play and especially about music. At that moment a small puppy walked up to me. He was on his leach but that couldn’t hold him back. He was jumping and barking jumping left and right. He had these beautiful blue almost white eyes. They shone bright with the sun reflecting in them. The clock hit five times and I knew it was five pm, the sun was already starting to set leaving a massive shadow of myself in front of me. This small Australian Sheppard puppy was getting closer and closer to me. An old lady was following. She had beautiful age wrinkles and gorgeous grey hair. She didn’t seem to be bothered by the pup’s energy and just walked where ever it wanted to go. The pup stopped right in front of me lowering his front legs putting his bum up in the air.
It’s tail high above his head wiggling quickly to all sides. His chin almost touched the ground and he stopped barking. I moved forward with my hand reaching out towards him. Barely an inch from removed from his wet black crackly nose, he started jumping. It kinda scared me how suddenly he had moved. His two rear legs kept touching the ground and he was bouncing from left to right. Barking and wiggling his tail even harder than before. I started playing with him. Moving my hand left to right making him catch it with its soft pink paws. They felt like your pillow just before going to bed after a long day. Perfectly smooth, comforting and warm. The old lady came up to me and started smiling. I looked up to her and said
— “What a beautiful young Australian Sheppard. Could I maybe borrow it for a day or two?” She laughed and told me
— “I am sorry boy but this little bugger here keeps me walking and I love playing with him. He makes me feel like a child again!”
She bends down and lifted the pup. He was kinda shocked and didn’t know what was happening. He was scared at all, his tail was still wiggling ever so slightly and he was now fixed on the old lady. She lifted him up to her eyes and started talking to him whilst playing with his airs. The pup seemed to enjoy it and was moving with ecstasy. Then she put the dog down again. We both turned to the left. We watched how the train entered the station. I got up from the bench and stroked the pup one last time. The lady looked and me and told me.
— “You look way to serious my young man. Don’t you see that look on your face? It feels like you always want to do what’s best instead of going with your heart and playing your way through life.”
She shook my hand, smiled, lifted her pup of the ground and walked towards the train. I slightly shook my head, closed my eyes and frowned out of disbelieve. I couldn’t believe what just happened. Did that lady just say to me that I wasn’t having fun? Did she just indirectly tell me that life is playful?
She did, didn’t she? I am actually shaking my head right now. I wanted to tell this story, but I didn’t actually know quite yet where it would end. I know that’s a really bad thing to do as a storyteller but it just felt right. That old lady, the beautiful old lady with gorgeous grey hair and a small enthusiastic little Australian Sheppard, they both were right. The dog was having so much fun, he was literally playing through life. At the same time, the old lady was telling me to have more fun and to play a little more.
It made me think. What does this actually mean? Why does all of this happen to me at the same time? I feel stressed and rushed all the time, I feel my body hurting out of stress. At the same time, I am searching desperately for things to help me deal with this stress and heal it. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you. You just have to search for the details. Funny how everything gets right back to my purpose, to seek all the beauty in this world. To look for the details in things and see their beauty.
As a kid you try out new things, things you haven’t seen or tasted before. You taste, touch, smell, hear and see all new things. You don’t take this seriously at all, if you would you wouldn’t eat washing machine pods. You would never try to swallow a scissor or touch a hot cup of thee. You just wouldn’t. It is all there for you to try out and play with it. We learn by playing and we grow by playing. We try to force a round object into a square hole and laugh while trying. It’s all funny to a kid and it is all to experiment with the new possibilities of this life. Why do we so badly need to finish school then? Why do I need to finish school as quickly as possible then? It has become a race to the end without play instead of a play without an end. I now understand what Alan Watts was saying. How he said that and orchestra’s goal is not to reach the end as quickly as possible, because that would mean the best orchestra would be the one who played their songs the quickest. The purpose of the orchestra is to make the play enjoyable. It is their job to entertain their audience the whole way. By that, they are focused on the playfulness of the music instead of reaching the end of the music.
Play like a kid again. Put that smile on your face and do everything with joy. If you can’t then quit doing it. You ain’t born to follow the rules of others. You are born to follow your own rules and the only rule you should follow is to seek happiness. Enjoy the wind blowing in your face. Enjoy the rain falling on your skin. Enjoy the stress because it brings you towards inner growth. Enjoy all your emotions. Try to enjoy the things you hate. Don’t force the hate away, no instead try to find what you do like and enjoy that. Don’t blame the thing you hate for making you angry or sad. Play with it, make it look silly in your head. “Life is essentially playful” So I try to teach myself to be a kid again and to enjoy everything as you had never ever experienced it before.
I sing in the rain, I laugh at the wind and make jokes about school. I don’t care anymore about the stress of reaching the end of school as quickly as possible. I care about doing what I want and enjoying everything that life has to offer. Don’t be afraid to play your role. Play your instrument like there is no end to they play. Write your book like there is no end of the pages. Laugh like there will never be an ending to joy. Play more and seek beauty in everything.