Giving Permission to our Playful Spirits
Gary Tool’s Column Terribly Wrong in last week’s Community Times Dispatch got me thinking. Two people can witness the same event, and each may see it in a totally different way. Native Americans say that each of us sees from a different place on the Medicine Wheel. I like that imagery. I agree. We each experience life through the lens of our histories, training, strengths, weaknesses, and most of all, our fears.
Now, I saw the same commercial that the good Reverend saw, yet we each saw two different things. The commercial in question is the one where a little boy shakes a bottle of soda and accidentally sprays his momma, who then joins in with the sprayer from the kitchen sink.
The good Reverend sees this scene as an example of a dysfunctional family behavior, and as an example of the devil using technology to destroy folks. Now, I don’t want to get into a tug of war over which one of us is right. I do not disagree that evil operates in this world, as well as Good. I do not disagree that folks watch too much TV to their own detriment. Nor do I disagree with the good Reverend’s prescription for better living. However, we did see that same commercial with different eyes.
As the 2 liter bottle explodes a plume of soda towards his momma, shock and surprise are very apparent on the child’s face. My imagination tells me that he is waiting for the axe to fall’. He knows “he is in trouble now”! As my attention turns towards his momma, I see a look of shock and disbelief on her face. I expect anger next. In fact, I don’t just expect anger; I expect rage, because of my own personal history. But I’m surprised. Her look of shock gradually melts, and is replaced by amusement, as she reaches for the sprayer from the kitchen sink. As she sprays him back, her amusement blooms into full blown childlike glee. His expression of shock and fear is abandoned to one of total playful glee as well. There is no screaming, no tears, no bruises, nor any childhood trauma. There is no adult, anger driven over-reaction that we see so much in our violent society. There is no shaming. There are just two souls, letting go to their playful spirits. How wonderful!
Now, in my imagination, after all is done, his momma talks to him, and tells him not to shake soda bottles, because even though they had fun this time, next time he would be in trouble. (After all, it is a commercial about paper towels, and whether we know it or not, we have been using our imaginations all along!)
What I saw in this commercial, was far more functional than what I experienced as a child. I saw real connection between the child and his momma. I saw two souls, who felt safe enough to let go, and really have fun. Granted, we don’t see the lesson “don’t shake the bottle”, but I believe, we see an even more important lesson, despite any evil influences that may or may not be involved.
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