Reality TV invaded our house this weekend. The children became the parents and the parents became the children.
The children prepared their own home made version of the Survivor Series. Unlike the TV vesion, this involved our home being turned into an amusement park and all the adults in our home being turned into the amusment of the day. This included background music and a hilarious running commentary.
Each of us were given formal invitation to attend our own home, this included detailed instructions in how to compete, they put us into our marital pairs, they instructed us to tie our hands and legs together with our better halfs and set us forth to win back our survival, our only goal was to remain in our own homes at all costs. Today the kids (now our parents) got to decide who stayed and who would be voted out - off the home front.
A soul's joy rests in the doing. They had spent the morning setting up the game. Now, they were in complete charge. We had no clue what were were doing or what was to be our fate. We scrambled to read their scribbled instructions and work with our spouses in a way that was curiously reminicent of the beginnings of our respective relationships.
The raw energy was wrapped up in the absolutely infectious laughter of our children. Ordering three pairs of adults to race furiously around the house with their legs tied, searching for clues was more fun for us than we could have ever imagined and it was a weekend to remember for the kids.
The absolute joy of this event was an awakening. It was a cruel but caring reminder of how sensibly numb we have become. When did we program the joy out of our innocent little lives? Why and when did we become so sober and serious? Why and when did we become hostages to being sensible, to the orders of the education system, the media and that political dungeon of fear known as work? Why and when did we grow old? "God gave us one face and yet we made ourselves another".
Where had the raw beauty our 'human nature' gone? And most imporant of all, why was it so easy for our children to hand our joy back to us? The reason of course is that we had never lost our essence in the first place, we had been gripping it in our hands all along. We only needed to open our palms and the truth was there all along.
"And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then from hour to hour, we rot and rot:
And thereby hangs a tale."
As You Like It. Act I, Scene VII
Children play as freely with computer games, the internet and on-line conversations as we used to play with our Action Dolls, Mecano Sets and Lego Bricks. Our world lay in the palm of our hands, their reach is limited only by their capacity to love and be loved.
Our chief task is to untie our doubts, set free our children and allow them to lead us back to what is real, to help us escape the island of our ego and identity, abandon our fears of not having this or that or being this or that and simply discover the joy of being who we have been, are and will be in the first place.
"My salad days, when I was green in judgment,
cold in blood, to say as I said then!"
Anthony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene I