Playdate with Silly and Serious

by Bernard De Koven

In preparation for the arrival of both Silly and Serious, some of us might want to be sitting, alone, in a very quiet place, with a mirror. Others might just want to pretend that they are doing that.

Take out your two-sided mirror (not included). If you can’t find a two-sided mirror, you can use a one-sided mirror (also not included) and a double-flip (see following). If you can’t find a mirror or anything at all anywhere around that you can see yourself in, try using your Imaginary Mirror (included).

Look into your mirror and make a face that is definitely Serious. Take your time. And give it time. Until the face you see is inarguably, indubitably, and in deed, the face of you, being Serious.

Now flip your mirror over, and do the same thing until the face you see there is, most typically and unmistakably you, being Silly.

(Here’s where you, if you have a one-sided mirror, must use the aforementioned double-flip.)

Now flip the mirror over and see if your Serious face is still as unmistakably Serious as it was when you last saw it.

And flip the mirror over again, and check out your Silly self. Check out your silly self!

And again flip and again flip, randomly, seeing you can catch one of them off-guard.

OK. So that’ll be the way Silly looks. And that, Serious.

Go it? Silly? Serious? Silly? Serious? Serious again? Silly? And again Silly?

OK. At last, Silly and Serious are ready play. At least at last you know what they look like. Now imagine them at play in your Inner Playground. Both of them, in your new Deep Fun All-Weather Inner Sandbox, at the same time.

Imagine Silly and Serious are playing in your All-Weather Inner Sandbox. Let them start off, as they always do, playing as far apart from each other as possible. Well, they could possibly be further apart, but “possible” here means without being so far apart that they can’t see or hear or feel each other.

They really seem to need their own space, to be in their own place, where the sand is clearly theirs, and they can exercise total control. Without conversation. Or eye contact, even.

And at the same time need to be just close enough so they can catch a glimpse of what the other is making. And, if they so desire, they can be completely free to make their own sand do something that looks and functions and smells in a remarkably similar manner, yet is clearly an improvement. Or not.

After a while, imagine Silly and Serious inexorably having to draw closer, to find out what kinds of roads and bridges and canals and borders they can draw together, between their creations. Imagine them drawing together.

Imagine how, given long enough, their bridges become the foundation for something surprising. Surprising to Silly. Surprising to Serious. Surprising in a remarkably surprising way. More surprising than either of you had even dreamed possible.

So surprising, that even your All-Weather Inner Sandbox doesn’t have enough sand, isn’t big enough.

Imagine Silly’s expression when that surprising thing gets born into the world. Imagine Serious’s face when it gets made for real.

Now look in the mirror.

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

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