Play – putting imagination into action

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

By George Kelley, Education Director at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck

When you play, you have an opportunity to fully experience something outside of your normal comfort zone.  In play we pretend.  Play is our mind’s way of trying things out, of practicing, of finding out more about ourselves.  This year’s Spirit & Place Festival has a theme of PLAY and will give you many chances to dive into the world of play in virtually every aspect of life.   In its 17th year, the festival will entice you to step into a world that some reserve for children, from November 2-11th.  Each year the festival picks a new theme to explore, and with PLAY, Spirit & Place finds a way to have something for anyone who wants to have fun.

“Play is putting imagination into action, be it putting pen to paper, singing into the shampoo bottle or living out a fantasy vacation, play brings extra meaning to life. “

While some think of play as frivolity, play can be serious business.  We learn through play as we create the world around us, often we go about it unaware of what we are doing.  Play is putting imagination into action, be it putting pen to paper, singing into the shampoo bottle or living out a fantasy vacation, play brings extra meaning to life.  It is the extra shade of color, sometimes even grey.

“I am thrilled to find so many diverse and wonderful ways to express that which I have engaged in from my first day, studied as an educator, wrote about in graduate school and used to both teach and learn.”

Play is a mind builder.  From a toddler building a tower of blocks to a 1st grader writing a form of poetry, to a college biology major growing fruit flies in a lab, each plays at the edge of their knowledge and understanding of their universe and through their action pushes back the frontier of the knowledge adding to it in sometimes glorious fashion.   Science history is full of anecdotes of scholars, who when faced with a puzzle, played their way to an answer.  Ask a physicist working at the Hadran collider how much fun they are having when they smash atoms together to solve the question of where we began.  What better things to play with than the stuff of the beginning?

I have participated in Spirit & Place as a presenter, an audience member, a supporter and a cheerleader.  I have told stories, spoke about Judaism, and welcomed others into our synagogue.  This year however I am thrilled to find so many diverse and wonderful ways to express that which I have engaged in from my first day, studied as an educator, wrote about in graduate school and used to both teach and learn.  Come play with me.  I guarantee you will have fun.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s