This afternoon, I took a break from all my words, plans, and schemes and went for a walk in the nearby park. There was a soft breeze. The air was warm, but it was no longer the nasty sticky hot that had been oppressing LA for the last few weeks.
I grabbed a seat on some metal bleachers in the shade next to a softball diamond. Birds were chirping. Squirrels were avoiding dogs on leashes. A white paper towel was rolling on the grass. Real cycle of life stuff.
I inhaled, exhaled, and looked up at a sign on the fence: Play At Your Own Risk.
At first, I chuckled at how risk averse our culture had become. Is there any kind of play that does not have risk attached to it?
I thought about my own Risk playing back in the day. I usually conquered Australia then moved my armies up through Asia while maintaining an outpost in the Americas. Note, this is my own Risk playing. You are entitled to your own Risk playing.
The theatre junkie in me thought the sign would be a good title for a play. Maybe it could be: Play! At Your Risk or Play at your own. . .risk. Or maybe it could be a manifesto. Theatre hasn't had a good manifesto in years.
As you know, I sail boats a lot. I am comfortable on sailboats. . .except when I accidentally bang my head into a cabin top. . .ouchie. However, many view sailing as risky play. That's fine. I view softball as risky since I have bad hand/eye coordination.
As I was contemplating play and risk, the kids were freed from the nearby school. One kid climbed to the top bleacher (about four and a half feet off the ground) and did a back flip off it while munching on some potato chips. He landed perfect on his feet and continued on his way. I thought, yes, that's all right. Some things just need to be done.