: the conduct, course, or action of a game
: recreational activity; especially: the spontaneous activity of children
: absence of serious or harmful intent: jest
: a move or series of moves calculated to arouse friendly feelings
: the state of being active, operative, or relevant
: the stage representation of an action or story; drama
Play (n.): Old English plega (West Saxon), plaega (Anglian) “quick motion; recreation, exercise, any brisk activity” (the latter sense preserved in swordplay, etc.), from or related to Old English plegan. By early Middle English it could mean variously, “a game, a martial sport, activity of children, joke or jesting, revelry, sexual indulgence.”
Meaning “dramatic performance” is attested by early 14th century, perhaps late Old English. Meaning “free or unimpeded movement” of mechanisms, etc., is from c. 1200. Sporting sense “the play of a game” first attested mid-15th century; sense of “specific maneuver or attempt” is from 1868. To be in play (of a hit ball, etc.) is from 1788. Play-by-play is attested from 1927. Play on words is from 1798. Play-money is attested from 1705 as “money won in gambling,” by 1920 as “pretend money.”
“I came up stairs into the world, for I was born in a cellar.”
William Congreve (1670-1729, “English dramatist who shaped the English comedy of manners through his brilliant comic dialogue, his satirical portrayal of the war of the sexes, and his ironic scrutiny of the affectations of his age”)
“Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955, theoretical physicist and recipient of The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921; whose works include: Special Theory of Relativity, Relativity translations, General Theory of Relativity, Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement, and The Evolution of Physics; his “gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life”)
“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance — lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt”
Alan W. Watts (1915-1973, British philosopher, writer, and speaker, who held both a Master’s in Theology and a Doctorate in Divinity; famous for his research on comparative religion; and best known as an interpreter and popularize of Asian philosophies for Western audiences)
“Sure you do. Everyone wants to play. They’re just afraid of looking stupid. But you know what’s stupid? Not trying. So just…try.”
Victoria Scott (b. 1982, critically acclaimed author of young adult novels, such as “Titans,” “Fire & Flood”)
“It is not Atlas who carries the world on his shoulders, but woman; and sometimes she plays with it as with a ball.”
Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916, Polish journalist, novelist and Nobel Prize laureate; best known for his historical novels and especially for his internationally best-seller “Quo Vadis”)
“I'd three times sooner go to war than suffer childbirth once.”
Euripides (480 BC – 406 BC, one of the great Athenian playwrights of ancient Greece, known for the many tragedies; of 90 plays 19 have survived, which included, “Medea” and “The Bacchae”)
“Let us play hide and seek in a mountain which is like a women’s back.”
Santosh Kalwar (b. 1982, author from the Chitwan District in Nepal, who received a Doctor of Science in Technology)
“It is interesting that Hindus, when they speak of the creation of the universe do not call it the work of God, they call it the play of God, the Vishnu lila, lila meaning play. And they look upon the whole manifestation of all the universes as a play, as a sport, as a kind of dance — lila perhaps being somewhat related to our word lilt” — Alan W. Watts
Extraordinary, isn’t it? to think of our lives not as drudgery or work, but as a cosmic divine dance of play.
Nothing gets me to my state of play faster than being with my Girls, walking in nature, listening to music, dancing, or seeing or hearing something funny. Like most people, I love to laugh and revel in camaraderie.
That’s what these holidays are all about, after all! It’s about all of us taking the time collectively to be with friends and to celebrate our children and the possibilities of our lives without any expectation to work. As a nation, we stop and give ourselves permission to be playful and joyous.
When I first got married and had my children, we lived in a pre-war renovated cooperative apartment building that was built in 1906 in West Harlem. It was a magical place, because there lived a diversity of families from all parts of America, as well as from Italy, Belgium, South Africa and the Philippines.
We loved to on a spare of the moment have potluck dinners on the top of the roof, where we had a beautiful view of the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge.
The holidays were the best, especially Christmas. One time, one of the residents hired a jazz band to play live music, while we dance, ate and got to know each. On those nights we would stay up all hours of the night talking and laughing.
One year, I even had the party at my apartment. That’s how much I loved and trusted my neighbors.
This is the time of festivities, the season for joy and playfulness, even in the midst of our collective and global challenges. Let us rest, relax, contemplate and enjoy this holiday season, sojourners, so that we are ready to live life with gusto in 2017 and beyond!
Joyously and Happily Yours, Tonya