Playfulness in Art and Work that Keeps our Hearts Young

Ravenswood Leather Ranger Dress

Yesterday, Ben and I had the amazing privilege of meeting Reginald, the owner of Ravenswood Leather in Medford, OR. I had visited them the day before and seen the knights helmets, the leather gear, the bows and arrows, and pirate stuff and thought this would be the kind of store Ben would get a kick out of seeing. Also, I’d told them that he has made his own Iron Man suit out of metal, and the staff asked me to have him bring it down for them to admire.

They took a picture of Ben in his suit in the middle of their store. Talk about a big moment for Ben!

Then Reginald said to follow him, and he took us back into the workshop and showed us the tools and machines they use to cut leather, shape it, put holes in it, put clasps and ties into it to make garments and belts. He showed us the various patterns hanging on the walls that when pushed into the leather, cut out a gorgeous shape that can be sewn onto another piece to give it depth and design. He showed us how he arranged these pieces one on top of another to make the Chamfron – the leather face protector for a war horse.

As Reginald was showing us how he designs what he makes, he turned to Ben and said, “This is what I do all day. I just play!” Ben’s eyes lit up in recognition of another artist so absorbed in his work that it becomes play.

Someday Ben will grow up and get a job. I just hope all of his artistic energy gets a place to be channeled. I hope that the experiences we share with him while he is young, instill in him such a love of creativity that he is able to find work that is joyful and fulfilling to him.

Yesterday afternoon when I was driving to a client visit, I heard a Brandi Carlile song on the radio that talked about not trading in your tic-tac box for a ball on the end of a chain.

“Keep Your Heart Young”

My grandpa gave me a wheat penny and I kept it in my pocket
Had big plans in my backyard to build me a space rocket
Talked to my brother on a fake CB that I made from a tic-tac box
Packed my snowballs nice and tight and in the middle I put rocks
Don’t trade in your tic-tac box for a ball on the end of the chain
And don’t go spending grandpa’s pennies buying into the game
You gotta keep your heart young
Don’t go growin’ old before your time has come
You can’t take back what you have done
You gotta keep your heart young
Dad took the wheels off of my bike and he pushed me down a hill
But speed got the best of me and I took my first spill
That was back when alcohol was only used on cuts
Stung like hell so I jerked my leg and mama said it would give me guts
Don’t trade in your tic-tac box for a ball on the end of the chain
And don’t go spending grandpa’s pennies buying into the game
You gotta keep your heart young
Don’t go growing old before your time has come
You can’t take back what you have done
You gotta keep your heart youngSo take a picture of the one you love and put it in a locket
Go dig up your time capsule and the blueprints for your rocket
Keep in touch on a fake CB and that same old tic-tac box
Pack your snowballs a little less tight but in the middle: still put rocksAnd keep your heart young
Don’t go growing old before your time has come
You can’t take back what you have done
You gotta keep your heart young

You gotta keep your heart young
Sometimes you don’t die quick
Just like you wished you’d done
The love is a loaded gun
You’ve gotta keep your heart young
You can’t take back what you have done
You gotta keep your heart young

Playfulness in life, in work, in art and creation, in song, in love, in family, in marriage seems to be the key to what keeps us all young and joyful. We can grow and learn so much more when our base and foundation is delight!

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2 thoughts on “Playfulness in Art and Work that Keeps our Hearts Young

  1. what fun for you and your ben! now you’ve got me reviewing our obligations to see when we might make best use of a day playing hooky to do something decidedly…young.
    listening to your brandi carlile cut ’til my ears bleed bleed this morning. thank you for sharing.

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