Sometimes I read somewhere about the importance of play in our lives, and I think a bit sheepishly that even when I was a kid, I didn’t really… play that much. I was asthmatic and unathletic, and I was indifferent to the outdoors. (Don’t worry, I learned to love being outside later.)

​Still, when I hear creative advice about how we as grown-ups should play, an image appears in my mind of my neighbor’s front lawn, where we kids were playing after school. A bunch of the girls spontaneously lined up to do cartwheels, and when it was my turn, well…

But over time I’ve realized there are other ways to play, ways that even a serious little first-grader like me could get down with.

Collage is one of those ways. Collage is a “no head, all hands” activity. (Gardening is like this, too. For some people, it’s baking, or tinkering with cars.)

A friend of mine recently told me she had been making collages as a way to discern whether she likes something or whether she thinks other people would think it looks “nice.” In other words, to prioritize her preferences over pleasing others.

That clicked for me. I have spent various periods of my adulthood putting “I like that” low on the list of why I oughta choose a thing (a blouse, a job, even [years ago] a boyfriend).

Collage is a “no head, all hands” activity that allows me to practice putting “I like this” at the top of my list of reasons for choosing something.

As I make a collage, I also love the feeling of my ears softening as my brow unfurrows. Do you ever get that feeling?

That’s how I know I’m in a “no head, all hands” activity. It’s sensual. Who doesn’t need more of that.

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