When I was a little girl, I played intensely for hours at my grandparent’s home. Inside, we dressed up in all kinds of crazy outfits and developed an unending inner life of the imagination. We played house with elaborate scenarios, hosting dinner parties of saltine crackers and juice.
Outside, we rode our bikes up “the hill” and sped down and around the curve in the street. We raced in circles around my friend Patty’s driveway and I proudly carried a small scar on the little finger of my left hand from when my bike crashed. We rolled down the grassy hill in the back yard, and played in the drainage creek at its bottom. We made ourselves so dirty that sometimes we had to leave our clothes outside when we went back in the house.
One time, somebody found some small round pieces of burled wood with a small hole drilled in each one. I insisted that this would make a great “club” necklace. We found some string to make them into necklaces and then we had to figure out what the club was about. We never did.
That always bothered me. I thought it was cool for us to have these fabulous necklaces and I was sure we could have a special club too. What I didn’t realize was that we already had something better than a club. There was already an energy that compelled us to create fun projects together. We didn’t need a club to glue us together.
Eventually, my mother remarried and I moved away and we all grew up and never saw each other again. All we really had in common was that little subdivision where my grandparents lived in Saint Louis.
From my earliest days, my gift has always been in starting the games and encouraging people to find and express their own voices. Sometimes, I think I keep trying to make clubs, but I have learned that you have to be committed to a greater good to make it a club where I want to be a member. Above all, I believe in creative free expression, and in whatever it is that makes people want to create and be together. I love to see people create together, and I believe in the healing alchemy of community.
And beyond that? I still seem to be trying to make necklaces out of those little wooden things.
Happy Labor Day,
See you at the club.