The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
Bob and I spent this past weekend in Virginia with our oldest Stephen, his wife Mindy, and their two sons, Andrew (almost 5) and Ryan (almost 3). As is our usual routine on the morning of our return home, we ate breakfast and then prepared to load the car.
Bob and I don’t like to leave without first spending a little time with the boys in the morning but while Andrew plowed through his breakfast and talked with us, Ryan slept. I kept checking my watch. Finally, Ryan was up and dressed. I told him that Pop-pop and I were ready to leave.
“Play with me, G’andma.”
I reminded him that he’d slept in and it was time for Pop-pop and me to leave.
“Play with me, G’andma,” this time a little louder, a little more insistent with that edge of upset to it.
“Grandma, I have an idea,” Andrew piped up. “Why don’t you play with us for ten minutes?”
Well, what grandmother could refuse? After making sure that was agreeable to both boys, Bob and I dumped out some Legos and sat in the family room and played with the boys for ten minutes. When the time was up, we put everything away and without protest, Andrew and Ryan got up and proceeded to “help” us load our car. After kisses and hugs goodbye, Bob and I headed home.
Wasn’t that smart of Andrew to ask for just ten minutes (probably modeled by his also smart parents)? Can’t you just see your Muse negotiating for at least that minimal amount of time and attention?
“Play with me?”
You glance at your watch prepared to say no.
“Will you play with me for just ten minutes?”
How you can say no to such a manageable and heartfelt request from your Muse?
Chances are, of course, that once you start playing with your Muse, ten minutes will turn into 20, 30, or more.
And sometimes, because of life, it will just be ten.
But that’s okay.
Because sometimes, that is all your Muse needs.
Just ten minutes. Will you play for just ten minutes?