Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Art of Play

Jennifer Trafton is an author of children’s fiction. Her book, The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic, was read aloud by yours truly across many evenings with the Abell six. We laughed and enjoyed this unpredictable book, squealing with its silliness. She recently wrote an essay for The Rabbit Room, titled “The Art of Play,” which is worth a read...

That is what I mean by a holy silliness. Yes, there is a profound need for art that plumbs the depths of human depravity and suffering and shows that redemption is possible within that darkness. But there is also a profound need for art that creates spaces of innocence—innocent play, innocent joy, innocent beauty—in a world where innocence is violently stripped away from even the youngest children, and where adults have spent so long choking in the smog of corruption that they have forgotten what it is like to breathe pure fresh air. 
I will defend and defend the belief that the deepest reality of human life that we must impress upon children is not that life is hard and death is inevitable and they need to get used to sadness and darkness and make the best of it. The deepest reality is joy. The prize hidden under the scratch-and-win card of life is a beauty so big that no happy ending in a story can even come close to approximating it. War is a horrific stain on the floor of an extravagant ballroom. Tears are temporary; laughter is eternal.
Read the whole thing.

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