Tuesday, January 12, 2010

creative play

Playfully, I declare my right to write obtusely! Taking time to offer ideas while more or less in the middle of doing other things has its downside.

Monday, for example, which began nicely enough—until the second paragraph (which I’ll clarify)....

Monday, 1/11

Value Of The Day—for today—that I’m especially drawn to dwell with. That would be a nice use of this daynote convention. But I want to make it worth thinking about, dwelling with...

a sense of healthy mindfulness as well-attuned difference between inner Self and outer personality: integrity (Self) dressed in play—a lifelong legacy of commitment to (confidence about) one’s “Center” or purposive clearing—or Flow of life—sustaining a persona of luscious but harmless play.

Tuesday, 1/12

It’s quite valid to want to dwell with an idea, but not have the time
at the moment to do it, yet to express that, in effect, I wish I had time.
(I’m making the time now.)

I would distinguish kinds of play. Frivolous play is great, but—in a deeper sense—play is also a keynote of any creative process: trying
this-and-that option; arranging elements in novel ways to mull
whether that works for advancing the process.

To understand the Self (or, say, to understand identity relative to one’s life) as “dressed” in play is an easy way to say that a creative process needs to keep a flexible or fluid relationship to the creativity drawn
into a process. Such fluidity is why (how?) creativity may do such different kinds of things. Howard Gardner calls it a capacity for “fruitful asymmetry.”

I’m fascinated by—and tacitly begging a quesstion of—one’s “Center”
as a concept of commitment and confidence about oneself. Commitment to (or confidence about) one’s Center is, somewhat tautologically,
a confidence about one’s sense of confidence, a fidelity to one’s commitment. This is very important for sustaining a creative process, because what one’s doing is likely not appreciated by the wonderful people who happen to be near-and-dear or nearby.

Monday, 1/11

Such a Center is strongly related to what allows a change process
in one’s life to be made easily. Also, a good sense of play may express
a flexibility of thinking, situational attunement, and other-oriented appreciability.

So, how might reliable-but-flexible Centerness be very well understood? (There’s no best understanding to be had in our very diverse world—just, at best, very good understanding. So, here’s another Value Of The Day: something’s being “very good.”)


It’s difficult to understand how that Center comes to be. I think I have it much of the time, but it’s a struggle to keep the confidence, to not fall away into the sea. It can be a struggle to keep fidelity when it’s so easy to be found with others who couldn’t care less.

Tuesday and Wednesday, 1/13

The good play, though, is a matter of relationship to the world, which is largely made of other persons. The play requires really being there with others and with things. Naturally, for the artist, as ordinarily understood, there’s desire, need to “really be there” with things. For the writer, for the counselor (which can be an art), for the teacher, there’s desire to really be there with others.

It’s great to be influenced by others that one really cares about, so play is an easy way to care and be influenced without burdening. But wanting to appreciate is no automatic way to reach others you care about. Sometimes, others are unreachable, and that can be painful.


But the appreciability must be sustained! The world is lost without appreciability. It’s intimately related to there being value in the first place. Maybe, even, appreciability is the Center for what may
continue to matter.