Everyone in the building where the Playground lives wants to know what the Playground is.

They see us wandering the halls in our stocking feet (or stripy-socked-feet or bare feet or sparkly legwarmer feet), wearing ridiculous hats and sometimes wings.

They hear us laughing.

They are, understandably, not that clear on what we are doing, or why there is a pirate duck on the door or who we are. Or why we are having so much fun.

It makes sense that people are curious.

There’s a lot of wackopants stuff going on, though they don’t see any of that.

It’s just … the stuff we do is not really the kind of thing you can explain. It’s play. It’s very wax on wax off.

Describing it in words doesn’t transmit the essence. Or the magic. Or the experience.

The more I try to explain what it is, the more the essential nature of the Playground is obfuscated.

But people like having explanations. And I like buffers and spaciousness and canopies of peace.

So I hide, of course.

But then Maria told me about being five years old.

Maria is so wise. And so is her five year old, apparently.

Here’s how it works.

You pretend you’re five years old. You are a kid doing kid-stuff, busy at play.

You’re having such a good time playing that there’s really nothing to be explained. So obvious questions get answered with obvious answers.

Like this.

Person: What exactly do you do here?
Five year old me: Playground! I have a playground!

Person: What’s a playground? What is it?
Five year old me: Where you play!

Person: What kinds of things do you play?
Five year old me: Pirates!

Person: Pirates?
Five year old me: And monster tag. Sometimes.

Person: What’s the point, though?
Five year old me: Getting to play!

Person: Who plays there?
Five year old me: People! People who like to play!

Person: And what do you do there?
Five year old me: I’m the queen! I drink juice!

And then!

And then you put on your grown-up costume, and ask them about their business, and you start talking about the building and the heating and the weather and how much good food there is in the neighborhood and it’s awesome.

Grilled cheese for everyone!

Unless you don’t eat cheese, in which case that’s still okay because we’re in Portland, so… vegan gluten-free grilled cheese for whoever wants it.

One day I will have an open house.

Or an open Playground.

And I will invite my neighbors in the building to come and drink juice out of our zombie apocalypse juice glasses.

To build blanket forts or sit on pirate monkey meditation cushions.

To be old Turkish ladies, if they like. To wear clip-on tails from the Costumery (costumes!) and to carry wine glasses full of pretzel sticks.

To plug their phones into the Creative Outlets.

To rise up in unison against injustice! Et cetera.

But in the meantime, I am five years old and I am hiding and I have the best blanket fort ever.

And … comment zen for today.

There isn’t a right way of doing things. There is the way that is right for you. Or really: the way that is right for you in this moment. Better for you is not better in general.

Since this is our safe space to play, everyone here commits to making room for people to have their own experience and their own way. It’s a practice. It’s playing at the practice of practicing playing.

Grilled cheese for everyone!

The Fluent Self