Can you come out and play?

it’s a funny thing, when I post pics of me working, typically at a kitchen table, while all kinds of things are being created, bags of clay IMG_3660everywhere, tools thrown about, a real mess; the most common response i get is “I want to come play!”. I’ve heard this for years.  It makes me laugh a little because of the word “play”.  Am I playing?  It shoots me back to a memory I had visiting my Aunt Maureen for the first time in years, in Boston, with my cousins and my little daughter Lainey about seven years ago.  I had been gone a long time, so it was somewhat surreal being back among family again, and I was nervous about it.  My aunt Maureen was always the strict aunt, and memories of her brushing my hair so hard my scalp would bleed came rushing back like a slap.  We entered her impeccable home in IMG_1285Brighton, and as we sat down to dinner she said, “so what do you do?”.  I proceeded to explain I was an artist, and I worked with clay.   At which point, I got cut off, and she said, “so basically, you play with dirt? You mean like you did when you were a kid?”, she said this while she made a face, and maybe I detected a snuff that came out when she spoke.  My cousin shot her a glare and apologized to me with her eyes.  My little daughter jumped up and said, “she has a website!”, even knowing at this young age that I was being insulted and was trying to make me more legitimate.  I quickly changed the subject.   I bet she never did art in her life.  I wonder if she played.  Did she forget how?

Since then, when I hear, I want to come play when I post my work, or hear ‘you’re always playing with clay’, I do this tiny step back.  Am I playing?  Am I trying to pay bills? Am I working? Am I creating something from a deeper place within me that longs to play? I mean, my work is whimsical.  It is meant to make people smile, even laugh on occasion, so what’s the big freaking deal about the word “play”?  There was a time when I lived to hear, do you IMG_1114want to come out and play?  Maybe I need to find that little girl again, and just go out and play.  Nourish my human spirit. Things we forget to do, the simplest things. Play.  I guess I’m lucky that I get to “Play” every day!  I hope everybody else out there gets to play every day.  And better even, get paid for it.  Cheers to Playing!  (and working doing what you love)





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