Now that your inner tire swing and sandbox are installed, tested, and all guarantees, implicit or impossible, are void, it’s time to invite your Inner Superstars. Silly and Serious, of course. But how about imaginary somebodies even more fun to play with? How about the people you love to play with, how about all the people you’ve ever loved to play with, how about the people right here? How about god? No, not the uppercase G god. Your very own, personal, almost made-up god.

Imagine, if you need to, holding hands with the people on either side of you, playing some silly game. Like the one where you pass a squeeze. So if someone squeezes your hand, you use your other hand to pass the squeeze to the next person. Imagine that you’ve done that for a while, watching the squeeze pass from person to person. Round and round the circle. And then you close your eyes. And try to imagine the other people in the room. With their eyes closed. Passing the squeeze. Open your eyes now and see if the squeeze is where you imagined it to be. Close your eyes again. And then open them. Close and open. How close is the Squeeze to where you thought it was? Keep score if it helps. And then close your eyes and keep them closed.

Next time your hand gets squeezed, imagine that it’s not your neighbor, but, well, so maybe it is really your neighbor, but you’re pretending that it’s not. You’re pretending it’s god. Not the real hand of the real God, but the hand of the lower-case inner-god you’re imagining.

Since you’re pretending that a hand squeeze is the touch of god, you might as well pretend it’s a kind of cosmic touch, a touch from your very own, unauthorized version of god. Not necessarily an angry god, and not just a Just god, but a god that’s, for example, fun. Really fun. A god that’s incredibly, majestically, supranaturally fun, and is there for you, just to have fun with you. A god that greets you with every smile, every laugh, every moment of joy.

So, there you are. Your eyes closed. Sitting in a circle. Holding hands. And every now and then, your hand gets squeezed. And you’re imagining that it’s getting touched by an imaginary god – god, the Ultimate Player. And that touch just passes through you, like a tickly shiver, to the person holding your other hand.

And in between squeezes, you and god, the Ultimate Player, are off, just day dreaming. You, sitting in a circle, holding hands with a circle of day dreamers, dreaming with together, each with the god that is Fun. All of you, and the Fun god, cloud-shaping, sand-playing.

Imagine that you and god are day dreaming together in your inner Tire Swing, holding hands, attached by a touch, the Ultimate Player swinging you from all to nothing, from infinite to infinitesimal, from here to there.

Serious and Silly, of course, would clearly love the idea. Really. Both of them. Having something like Divine Fun to play with. In their personal, imaginary sandbox, as it were. Serious thinks about the Serious fun to be had building new worlds with the Ultimate Player. Silly about infinite silliness, silliness on a cosmic scale. Both imagine a real lot of fun. A real big lot.

Now that you think about it, this Ultimately Playing god is familiar. Very familiar. As in Main Squeeze familiar. Familiar all along, hanging out with you in the Inner Playground, since the beginning, so to speak, since you first imagined it into being.

It was then we first imagined a god we could be truly intimate with – talk with and have fun with and dream with and pray to and thank. It was there that we imagined a god we could play with. An imaginary god, maybe, but with imaginary powers on a cosmic scale.

This time, we are imagining that same god, only this time that Imaginary god has not only an infinite imaginary capacity for love and forgiveness, kindness and acceptance, goodness, joy, but also a deeply compassionate sense of humor. A god whose powers are very much like the powers of the very god that we imagined into being when we were children. Only better.

A god that is Fun. A god we can be closer to. More intimate than we were as children. Closer than angels. A god we can join with, and become infinitely intimate with, in laughter, with love, for fun. A god we can breathe with. A god that can become us. A god that we can become.

All-powerful, maybe, but this time, a god that is a lot more fun to play with.

Do you still know where the Squeeze is?

If your eyes are closed, open them. If they are not, imagine they were. Find the Squeeze. Give yourself a point if it’s where you thought it should be.

from Playgrounds for the Soul, volume 2 of Recess for the Soul

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