Remember to play

A cup of coffee. A half-dozen Biscoff cookies to dunk, absorbing the liquid to create a sweet treat. A cat bounding onto the chair’s arm with an interested meow. This is how it starts.

The first day of school for kids is a symbolic new beginning for grownups, too. For those grownups who may have forgotten the importance of preserving your kid-ness, the first day of school is a reminder to get back in touch with that young person who has been hibernating in your bones.

My younger self would sit cross-legged on the bed, scribbling song lyrics and poems or drawing comic-book adventures for my own amusement — or my brothers’ or friends’ amusement — over the years the songs and poems I grew less ready to share, and later more. But I would always be creating something in my fantasy world, with my stable of superheroes, and my Top 40 of songs that I made up, written and drawn and sung by people whose names I made up, too. The high school poems were the first I assigned my own name to, and then it was “w.p. bluhm,” because I loved what e.e. cummings did to a page.

Dance like no one is watching — that thought emerges from a few moments of reflection abut how those youthful efforts were created without much care for who would see or hear them (but saved just in case some posterity would want to see them — or saved because they are the singular creations of w.p. bluhm and therefore unique to the universe and irreplaceable if not priceless) — Write like no one is looking over your shoulder and criticizing and shocked that such a thing came from your mind. Never you mind who’s minding, just dance. write. sing. play.

Play — that’s where this started. I have forgotten to play, or rather I remember how to play but have forgotten or neglected to do so.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sit on the bed for a bit.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

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