Every January, rather than make a list of things I’d like to do, or change, or achieve, , I choose a word to guide my year.
This year, my word is play. In the first instance, it was inspired by one of the best books I read last year: ‘Why We Play‘, by Joanna Fortune. This book is a refreshing look at play, and it’s function in our everyday lives – as adults, and as children. It’s inspiring, and I really felt like it gave me permission to look for the playfulness in myself, and engage with that element of my personality without shame. (You can hear Joanna talk about play over on my Woman Up! podcast.)
Fascinated, as I am, by etymology, I was delighted to learn that ‘play’ as a verb, comes from Middle Dutch; the word pleyen, which means ‘to rejoyce’. When I found this out, I was excited at the thought of my year being guided by rejoycing.
Of course, another meaning for ‘play’ is the noun – and a reference to my first love, Theatre. 2023 will see more of my plays produced, and preformed. It’s been a while, but it’s time to return to Story. I must also acknowledge that there is overlap between both the noun, and the verb. When we play, we are often relating personal narratives, or truth-telling. or making sense of the world around us – or all of the above! The same is true of the plays we see in theatres. Theatre is where we expose the the truth; where we make meaning; where we find our way – collectively – to, and through, the issues that matter to us. Plays allow us to play with our experiences, our fears, our dreams, hopes, and wishes, in a safe space. And, truly, I rejoyce in that.