On Sunday I saw a performance by a talented and whimsical group of performers calledSweet Can Productions. The performers were pretending to be a group of strangers, caught in a terrible rain storm, who take refuge in an empty cafe. They pass the time by dancing with brooms, tightrope walking across the cafe, tumbling on and over the tables and chairs, and creating various other zany and delightful activities.
The next day during my morning “boost” call with my biz partner, Tricia, I asked, “What keeps me/us/the world from living more like that all the time? Why DON’T we dance with brooms or make up silly antics to amuse one another more often?”
I thought about my son, who is eight, and how he still sings while sweeping the kitchen, riding the tram, or walking to the library. I thought about how when I’m alone in the house I might turn on the music and dance down the hallway. But I would never do that when someone else is around. I’m always afraid of being seen as silly. Or “too” … “too” something. And yet, I absolutely love it when I’m out in the world and someone is playing, singing, skipping, dancing, being crazily and happily alive.
I’m curious if I’m alone in this desire for more play and whimsy in daily life. Certainly children seem to crave it and naturally move toward it. When — and why— does it slow to nearly a halt? Why do adults need to be on stage or in costume to get theatrical? I’d love to hear your thoughts …