Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fairy Bowers & Grandmums

Here's the magical part about mothers.  They come and stay with you for two weeks, push every. single. button. you have, make you work every last bit of restraint left in your body, and then they build the most beautiful fairy bower possible in your daughter's bedroom.

The magical part about mothers is that they have the chance to become grandmothers.

This isn't really a post about motherhood, or grandmotherhood for that matter.  This post is written to honor the transformative nature of play.  I'm talking about the freedom to be completely, absurdly, absolutely imperfect, and to love the hell out of it.  

I'm always frustrating myself with the need to present the finished object: some glorious completed project that is unmarred in construction.  The problem is that I am always shooting for the end game, and never bothering to invest in the steps that might take me there.  All dunks, no dribble (if that makes any sense in the sporting world, which I have a feeling it doesn't).  I'm impatient.  I'm hurried.  I want to rush through the boring parts, and get to the good stuff.  

Except, that good stuff never materializes without living through the process.  You can't create a beautiful object if you haven't invested in the construction of it.  And you can't gain any skills without engaging in the trial and error period.  Although I have learned this time and time again, and despite my best efforts to remember this lesson BEFORE I begin to ram my head into another creative wall, I can't seem to let go.  I can't let myself be a beginner.

Enter the fairy bower.  The idea of "perfect" is completely counter-intuitive to the idea of play.  It makes no sense to create a "finished" play space, or who would bother to use it?  The fairy bower itself is a living being, feeding off the quickly changing moods and story-lines of all who enter.  The light moves through it, casting patches of stories onto the bedroom wall, as does motion and color and pillows and blankets and doggies and special rocks.  And somewhere, it the midst of all that motion, I am learning how to be still.

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