Mr. G.K. Chesterton had a thing or two to say about the world. As a prolific writer, he wrote about everything from science, faith, and politics, to mystery novels and the everyday life. His characteristic wit and thorough perspectives make him a joy to read. Check out Christy’s post to introduce yourself a little more with G.K. Chesterton.
One of the things he wrote about passionately and persistently was the need for play and wonder in ones life. Chesterton embodied this as a joyful, jesting, and innovative man, and his writing is equally full of humor and insight.
In dwelling on his thoughts, I have been searching out more ways to live life in wonder. So herein lies my seven quick takes. And stay tuned to see how this all relates to the celebration of Halloween.
“Playing is the most serious thing in the world” -GK Chesterton
Dream what might be possible. Dream about what you want to accomplish, how you want to spend your Saturday, what life would be like in another time. Dream about whatever you fancy. These times for our brain to wander, hope, and grow send us on an adventure to new possibilities. Dream like a child, for the sake of dreaming itself, not in order to compare or complain against the realities of life.
Find something you like to create and make time for this in your week. Make it a habit. Maybe you’re like my sister and you like to create little songs to go along with your day, or maybe you’re like me and you enjoy baking in the afternoon. You might be like my husband who enjoys creating new cocktails, or like my friend Julie who always makes homemade birthday Christmas cards. Possibly you’re like my friend Alex who enjoys creating with circuits or Clara who loves curating her garden. Each person’s creativity looks different, you are not required to create like anybody else. Creating shouldn’t be an arduous task, it may be challenging, but you should enjoy it, it should open your brain up to new possibilities. In searching out our creative style we are further connecting with the creator of the universe. We are made in His image after all.
See a new place.
Now this can be done in two different ways. We can go to new places that we’ve never been to before, or go to familiar places but then see it in a new way. A new place could even just be a new grocery store, or it could be a new city, or country. But the more challenging and also more wonder filled way to complete this task is to go to the place you always go to, but find something new in it.
Feed your curiosity by investigating the world around you. Let yourself wonder about the world. An important part of asking questions is allowing time and brain space to notice wonderous things. Which brings me to my next point…
Put down the device
Allow the many distractions of the day to fall away. We need to look up and look out to the world around us. Pull ourselves away from unproductive and habitual acts that don’t bring goodness or truth into our lives. So often I don’t acknowledge the gifts in my life, because I do not look up to see them throughout my day.
More than once in the last 10 years I have said something like… I don’t want to try that because I don’t want to be bad while I am still learning. We should seek to embrace our weakness and what we might not be good at. Let yourself be undignified at times. Especially if it is for something that you enjoy. Take on a good dose of humility and laugh at yourself as you try something new or silly.
Waste time with your (or other) kids
Let time pass without checking things off your todo list. Offer your precious gift of time to the fun of childhood laughs. These times are rich in joy and wonder despite their perceived insignificance in the grand scheme of things.
Now how does this all tie in to Halloween? In the last few weeks leading up to this weekends festivities our family has had several opportunities to practice each of these traits. We dreamed up oodles of costume ideas and brainstormed ways to make it happen. We pulled out the sewing machine and hot glue gun to piece our creations together, solving problems along the way. We went to a new place, a pumpkin patch, and even saw our street in a new way as a spooky and silly place to trick or treat. A place to knock on new doors and make new friends. We put away distractions and spent time with family picking out the perfect pumpkin, trying out new ideas, and parading in our costumes. And y’all, for the sake of Halloween, I will always embarrass myself… Just wait and see my coral reef Halloween costume for this year.
Still interested in more about play and imagination check out GKs writing on the War on Childhood
To see more quick takes check out http://thisaintthelyceum.org/
As always you are welcome to use my images for personal use, credit back when possible.