“When we are like little children, with the openness the child has up until the age for school, then we retain our ability to be creators, our willingness to be open, to believe.
I need not belabor the point that to retain our childlike openness does not mean to be childish. Only the most mature of us are able to be childlike. And to be able to be childlike involves memory; we must never forget any part of ourselves. As of this writing I am sixty-one years old in chronology. But I am not an isolated, chronological numerical statistic. I am sixty-one, and I am also four, and twelve, and fifteen, and twenty-three, and thirty-one, and forty-five, and…and…and…
If we lose any part of ourselves, we are thereby diminished. If I cannot be thirteen and sixty-one simultaneously, part of me has been taken away.” —Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 18: 1-3
Are you embracing all of your ages?
“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air—explode softly—and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth—boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either—not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”
—Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
When was the last time you colored with Crayolas?
ga·lumph [guh-luhmf], verb: to move along heavily and clumsily; to leap or move about clumsily or joyfully.
“Anthropologists have found ‘galumphing’ to be one of the prime talents that characterize higher life forms. Galumphing is the immaculately rambunctious and seemingly inexhaustible play-energy apparent in puppies, kittens, children, baby baboons—and also in young communities and civilizations. Galumphing is the seemingly useless elaboration and ornamentation of activity. It is profligate, excessive, exaggerated, uneconomical. We galumph when we hop instead of walk, when we take the scenic route instead of the efficient one, when we play a game whose rules demand a limitation of our powers, when we are interested in means rather than in ends. We voluntarily create obstacles in our path and then enjoy overcoming them. In the higher animals and in people, it is of supreme evolutionary value…
…A creature that plays is more readily adaptable to changing contexts and conditions. Play as free improvisation sharpens our capacity to deal with a changing world. Humanity, playing through our prolific variety of cultural adaptations, has spread over the whole globe, survived several ice ages, and created stupendous artifacts.”
—Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art
How often do you galumph?