Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Play

I want to talk to you about something, something so amazing that it's all I want. I can't stop thinking about it. If it were a physical substance, they'd call it addiction,

But it's not a physical substance?

No, not in any normal way. It's... it's more.

More than physical?

Does that sound silly?

Does it sound silly to you?

Well, yeah, but... shit. OK, there's nothing that someone could call an addictive substance here. You don't eat or drink anything. There's nothing to swallow, nothing to inhale, nothing to inject. Still, I feel more attracted to this than anything I've experienced. You know what I mean?

I might, at least for me.

Oh come on, you're just screwing with me. You know what I'm talking about.

I think I understand what you're saying. There are some things that are so wonderful that once you get a taste it's nearly impossible to resist another. If we were talking about a consumable substance, we'd say it was "highly addictive". However, there are things that lack substance (at least physically) that are significantly more addictive than anything physical. I'm just not sure what that means to you or what it is you've tasted, but I think I get the gist of it.

OK... yeah, that's pretty much what I meant. What don't you get?

I get the concept. I don't get what your non-substance is or why you find it so appealing?

Hmmm... well, the substance is, and this is going to sound ridiculous, it's playing the piano. I mean, I can't even play that well, but there something about the movement of my arms, hands and fingers, my whole body actually, that feels so good when I play. There's the touch of the keys and how they resist when I press them. There's the sound, not just one voice but three or five or even ten. There are all these little nuances that occur as I change my body position, as I become more aware of my posture and breathing, as I become more involved with playing. Even though I've just scratched the surface, it all feels so... so real.

So real?

Yeah! Everything becomes so clear. Time seems to slow down. No, it just disappears. I feel so completely in the moment. The contrast with everything I've ever done is so stark. I feel like I've never actually been clear or present before.

That doesn't sound ridiculous to me.

It doesn't?

Nope. Sounds pretty darn compelling. You're playing.

Yeah, but not very well.

Sorry, that wasn't clear. I wasn't talking about playing the piano; I was just talking about play generally. You're not working at learning the piano. You're not trying to learn the piano. You're not practicing. You're allowing yourself to play the piano, you know, like a kid plays with a piece of wood he found in the backyard or a discarded box or an old doll with missing pieces. You're just playing.

But... well... yeah, now that you mention it, I guess I am. I sometimes start out wanting to practice or to make sure I learn something, but I always end up getting lost in...

In experiencing the piano?

Yeah, just experiencing it. Is that crazy?

It might be rare, but I wouldn't call it crazy. I think if you saw someone else experiencing what you're experiencing, you'd call it passion.

What would you call it?

I'd call it play.


Happy Wednesday,
Teflon

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