“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”
― Heraclitus, Fragments
There’s a game we all play when we’re young.
This game has different rules. It has different players and equally different playing fields.
It changes as you age. Sometimes it changes by the day.
It can even change by the minute.
The game is formed much in the same fashion as thought. It dwells within the imagination, deep in the mind, next to the true self. It forms as we form.
It becomes as we become.
In the space of youthful innocence we play our games, as children and as adults.
Our games are unique to us. And as children we play them continuously. One day our minds begin firing, engaged by our new found world.
We form places and characters and entire worlds within the mind, then we bring this into the physical world through a simple form that we can understand.
We bring our imagination to life through art, music, writing, dance and by playing simple games.
But it is the game that no one really considers. The game mirrors both of our worlds — the world within, and the world we walk upon.
My game is played daily still, and my son is the referee.
He’s also the player, and the game’s inventor.
Our game consists of two balls. One soccer ball, and another of almost equal size. One is colored with a blue swirl, resembling a cloudy sky — and this is his favorite.
The game begins by me kicking both balls, and he picking up one and running to the opposite side of the yard. I then give chase and he throws the ball when I get too close.
Then he laughs and falls to the ground.
The game resumes as I kick the ball and he runs to the other side of the yard, and we begin again.
It’s not a game of points, only a game a fun. But it lives even deeper than this. For this game is a mirror to the game of life.
“Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.”
― Rumi Jalalu’l-Din
We do not grow old without playing games.
Nobody is capable of this.
Games are an intrinsic part of our humanity. Our minds are far too creative when we’re young to even consider not playing a game. And if you can remember your younger days, I’m sure you played many.
Maybe it was chase. Perhaps it was tag, or hide and seek. Maybe it was a game you developed on your own. Maybe you tossed sticks into a stream and watched which was faster on the current.
No matter what it was, these games are the subtle tools we all use as children which enable us to not only develop bonds with others, but to understand and test our mental and physical abilities.
Games enable us to understand ourselves and our world, and our relationship to both self and universe.
It is here in the game that we learn about life. And the game always continues, but only if we’re willing to keep playing.
We should all play more games, and revisit the games we once played as children. It was then when we learned valuable lessons of life and of self, and many have sadly forgotten these intimate and critical relationships.
But, you can always resume play.
As for our game, it changes often — just as life does.
Our game contains laughter, just as life should.
The game is about movement, just as life is.
And the game is about forging a bond of love, just as it should be.
Play your games. Remember them and remember the lessons they once taught you. But most of all, know that nobody is keeping score…
Unless it’s you.
You’re only young once, but you will always play the game of life.
So play it well.