A serious take on the world
I believe the Universe* gives us the lessons we need for us to evolve. It’s how I’ve rationalised most of my life, because lessons and learning are the thing that drives me most.
A lesson I am currently facing is around the topic of ‘fun’. Fun comes in all shapes and sizes and I am testament to this. Because what the rest of society seems to classify as fun, has generally in my life, not felt like fun for me. As a child I remember birthday parties, social events, and even Christmas as challenges rather than pleasure – sticky with expectation and obligation. Superficial, lighthearted play and small talk generally felt like a frivolous and painful distraction from whatever I would rather be doing .. such as building, exploring or simply thinking about something .. on my own.
I remember being bailed up as a child at one of my mum’s parties by a drunk friend who would start chatting and go on and on. All I wanted to do was escape. Interesting that that is the strongest memory for me of those parties.
Fun in company versus fun alone
Our children, as life itself, tend to bring us our lessons. For me it is being blessed with an easygoing child who loves to be around people he knows (not just random strangers which is where I feel more comfortable) and the impact on my extreme introversion has been to limit his social life outside of school. With my like-minded partner departed from this life the onus is on me to provide my sons needs .. and that is increasingly requiring me to be more social, or at the very least to reach out or connect with other parents. I made a point of this soon after he was born and now am part of a great mum’s group in Sydney. But we have moved a six hour drive from them now. And so the issue has come up again .. how to keep my son entertained without having him resort to screens. Because he likes company. He doesn’t have my serious studious nature. I feel I’ve inflicted a somewhat lonely childhood on him out of my passion for aloneness (well .. he’s had ME to play with ..).
A couple of days ago, after starting writing this as a way to explore and express this dilemma, I took him to the skate park in Bellingen. He normally would only want to go there with a friend, with me or if it was empty .. but that day it was busy, and we sat and watched. Eventually, recognising one kid there, he decided he’d give it a go. It was a breakthrough. I had found a new way to get him in contact with other kids and active without having to reach out to other parents. I even left him there for an hour and raced home to do some of my own work. Mutual bliss. Thank you Universe!
How does this relate to Cloudscape?
The point of all this is perhaps to say that there is no ‘one size fits all’ type of fun. Kids playgrounds are much more fun for some kids than others. An intention of Cloudscape is to meet different play needs – from social interaction to solo exploration to getting physical.
For myself, the serious side of me is exploring play with Cloudscape, and challenging me in all sorts of ways. And I am endeavouring to create a place that is ‘fun’ outside of the standard definition that the funsters of our society determine. Fun that includes random connections and exploration and shifting of thinking. Fun that can be had alone OR with others.
And ironically, if I think about it, the lessons I’m getting as I push this project forward, challenging as they continue to be, are forcing me to evolve .. to move from my withdrawn, shut down ways to being more expressed, more connected, more confident. In short, I am pushing the edges of my comfort zone in a big way. And while in a way I’m doing it for me – because a life lived in my head has become increasingly intolerable – I’m also doing it for others like me – as a place to connect and be inspired – a place that I would love to go to and a place that can offer something different to those who don’t necessarily fit in with everyday society .. but have needs all the same. This feels meaningful to me.
* when I say Universe, what I really mean is the bigger picture .. understanding that how we are in the world and how we react to the world naturally brings about the experiences we have.