It’s the late 1970s in our downstairs Family Room. I’m a toddler standing in my playpen holding the rail with both hands. Using my head as a guide, my upper body moves up and down with the beat of a honky-tonk banjo tune. I’m watching my favourite show: Hee Haw.
It’s 1986 at the arena. My brother is at hockey practice. My red Sony Walkman is clipped to my hip so I can perform full dance routines in the downstairs change room area hallway. My moves are as large as my voice is loud. Now it’s all about Madonna. And Bon Jovi. Or Cyndi Lauper.
When I was young it was easy to embody music, to let the notes and lyrics into my body until they burst through dancing and singing. Children say yes to music. Children say yes to movement. Children say yes to looking and sounding ridiculous because it’s fun, because it’s worth it.
As a child it’s easy to dance like no one’s watching because it feels right to let the music in, to become the music. It feels right to say yes.
Now, I want my ideas to dance across the page. I want to write like no one is reading, to write just for the heck of it—not because it will lead somewhere, not to impress somebody. I want to write with my whole body, connecting intellect and emotion.
And I want to live like this too, spend more time giggling with joy, saying yes to play, and saying yes to fully being in the moment. How do you say yes to life? Yes to health? Yes to relationships? Yes to work? Yes to following your heart’s calling? When I look at these pictures of myself as a child, saying yes seems so simple.
Yes, Let’s is an improvisation game we often played when I taught Drama. The rule is simple. You must say yes. So if your partner says, “Let’s run around the room.”
You say, “Yes, let’s.”
The purpose is to take turns giving and receiving ideas—and to always say yes.
How would my writing change if I said “yes” more often to elements of my process?
Let’s write a blog. Yes, let’s.
Let’s show it another way. Yes, let’s.
Let’s listen to jazz. Yes, let’s.
Let’s change to blues. Yes, let’s.
Let’s dance Yes, let’s.
Let’s sing too. “Yes, let’s.”