Ode to Imaginative Playing

Wherever and whenever possible, the grandsons engage body, mind and soul in imaginative play. And it’s good for them. We encourage such play and the possibilities that open up for their young selves.

If you watch them, listen to them, their imagination and enthusiasm bursts with a palpable vigor of discovery. We could learn a thing or two from such unbridled vigor.

An arm extended is a wing just as the rushing, whooshing sound from their mouth is that of fast-moving air giving lift to the aircraft. You can’t ignore their commentary for it further explains the depth of their imagination and understanding of how they play. “He’s way up in the sky…diving down then up again…he goes very far and very fast.”

I see in all their  imaginative play a power that exceeds that of any CPU. What they emotionally and physically feel, the how of what their mind’s eye offers, when they encounter a challenge [“He won’t share the glider!”]—or arrive at a compromise or solution—every bit of it adds to their development as communicators, problem-solvers, collaborators and empathetic beings.

Indeed seeing these two boys and all that they say and do remind me to nurture my own imagination.  At least not to ignore it. The why of such nurturing can liberate and acknowledge a sense of purpose and triumph.  Many of us are unlikely to realize our loftiest, most ambitious dreams and goals, but pause and think again.

Our imagination can fuel possibilities that can manifest into a journey that’s not only our own, but a story genuine to our sense of self .

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Nothing but Blue Skies…

“Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, do I see.”  Irving Berlin

It just hit me. This color blue. It was electric, cheerful, optimistic, surreal and more. Not sure why, but it just was.

So, I took a  photo.

Ella Fitzgerald recorded a terrific rendition of this song. Perhaps we should cue it up and listen to it more often. The lyrics just might move you from a place you don’t like, to one that’s much more hospitable if just kinder.

Planning Overload

Okay, the end of the year, the last month of the calendar if you will, is chock full of messages hitting us from all kinds of channels.  I’m referring to advertising & marketing messages. I’m overwhelmed with it all.

“For a limited time, you can own this…..enjoy the 10 for only 1 dollar/euro at your local…..make this the holiday to remember with special offers from….common reactions are allergies to the active ingredient, cramps, blurred vision, moodiness, sleepiness and in some cases, death….”  WTF!?

However, what I find even more overwhelming is the myriad of marketing tactics, strategies, resources, research et al, that are available to each of us [the marketing professionals]. Ms. Cook’s comment, naturally, is taken with a grain of salt, but it makes you stop and think about “planning.”  And for the most part, I’m convinced that we’re all over planned. Coupled to the planning are the actions deemed necessary for said plan to be successful. I translate that to, being “overscheduled” and thus feeling more overwhelmed.

Whether it’s marketing communications and strategies,  or making plans for your children’s activities, a vacation, an addition to a home, etc. etc., I’m convinced that there’s much to champion in the less-is-more school of thought. To wit:

  • I’ll stick with Plan A because creating a Plan B or C is going to take even more time, more minutiae, workbooks, versions, hotlinks, B-rolls, post-production, trips to the copier, make more PDFs….OMG!
  • Regarding Plan A, I prefer to make smaller mods to line and action items. My options are: edit or delete. So what I have is still my original plan, but with tweaks
  • When my daughters were growing up, after-school activities were encouraged, but within reason. There was none of the practice/games after school followed by Key Club, music lessons, etc. that seem to be the norm for each school day, week in/week out
  • Less is more when it comes to time on hand. I didn’t drive to the ends-of-the-earth just to get them from one activity to another, then back home
  • Less is more: I pull into the garage with more gas in the tank; we eat dinner together; limit perfunctory questions and remarks wherever possible [what was the most interesting thing that happened today? vs. so, how was your day?]
  • Less is more: a lot less time in front of a screen [TV, computer, vid game, e.g.] and more reading, you know, a book

The end game is something I relish. I envision a plan not to plan anything at all.

Light Chaser

Am I the only one–if not one of the very few–that doesn’t object to the return of “Eastern Standard Time” in New England?

I refer to this change as back to “real time” much to the chagrin of most everyone around me. There are plusses and minuses–like everything else–but for me, this is not a big deal and I for one like that extra hour of sleep.

Chasing the light with a camera in hand is very therapeutic for me.  The time of day, whether early or late, contains a salve that takes the edge off my depression.

Light can be a fantastic muse. It’s never exactly the same yet it can provide similar if not familiar feelings for one person to the next.  I love chasing the light…

 

 

Solitude Found

However I feel and wherever I am, I try to find solitude. It’s a quiet that renews me because I can be myself.  Solitude encourages me not only to reflect, but to jettison the ill-feelings of comparisons and expectations.  The Rolling Stones, rock classic, Satisfaction, is so very telling:

“…When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me…”

I’m not equating isolation with solitude, as the former suggests being devoid of sensory inputs.  No, this is about a mindfulness that keeps at bay the disquiet of our modern life.  Turn off the radio, the TV, the podcast, et al. Though it may be easier–if all too obvious–to find solitude when completely alone, that is unnecessary.  Solitude can manifest itself anywhere. Don’t you find solitude at a social event [even at work] when you can momentarily remove yourself to a space that doesn’t invade your thinking and feeling?  Step away, even for a moment, to find some quiet, some calm, some level of respite.

We’ve yielded to wanting impressions that don’t add genuine value to our sense of self: number of likes, tweets, comments, “friends”, postings and so forth.  Allow yourself to be your own best company.