This is often how I know my child has had a good day:
We were in a new space. We're still relatively new to each other. We're developing a dance based on trust that our feet will find grounding even though we can't see through the mud right now. The mud is present because we've been together for a few rehearsals that were beautiful gems/ clear water. The mud is present because we've passed the point of knowing and are moving into the unknown.
We're literally getting sweat soaked, tripping, forgetting, trying again, falling, and getting more dirty.
And, yet, we're able to continue.
We're able to laugh through the uncomfortable moments and acknowledge them as such. We can say with our voices and our bodies "This moment is MUDDY!" (Other words might have been used in real time and real life....)
The process of play - of learning and growing and developing and creating - is covered in dirt and sweat soaked.
Play is work. They're both 4-letter words. Work can be play.
The above image is fuzzy, but there's movement. There's incredible trust. There's security and alignment. There's safety in venturing into the unknown.
In a few weeks, will you, as an audience member, get to see this moment onstage? Honestly, I don't know. I don't know where this journey is going to take us. You might see this or you might see something that became because of this.
We've taken more than the first few steps and the next few have been murkier and muddied by our ambition.
Human-development experts write that a child's work is play. They learn and grow and develop through play. In the class I teach about Creativity, the students reflect that my encouragement for them to play is "like when I was a kid"
"I felt free"
"I could let go of my stress"
"I didn't feel judged"
"For a moment, I could do anything!"
When do we lose that? Why do we lose that?
What is possible if we allow ourselves to be emersed in the muddiness? In the play?
Friend, I hope you find a time and space to play. What might that look like for you?