Welcome to the first issue in Season Two of The Cure for Sleep: Stories From (& Beyond) the Book. This month’s theme concerns play: how we might (re)claim our creativity.
Readers were invited to respond as follows: When did you last play? Describe a favourite childhood game – solitary or shared. What made it so potent?
Any stories received on this theme will be curated below. Click on each name to go direct to that reader’s contribution.
At this new distance from my girl and boy, I understood of a sudden what was missing in my own development: children who are safe know exactly what they need, and are unafraid to ask for it. Again and again. Their desires are not always being sandbagged or buried or rationed. What might be obvious to others had for me, there and then, the force of revelation. I came back off the hillside at the end of that week with it ringing inside me, as if I were a bell being sounded.
How would it be to give to myself, for even a short while, such kindness? To spend time learning or recovering what I loved, what I yearned for? To ask for exactly what I needed, as my children were able to do? I’d been so concerned in my first life on becoming safe and secure, and intent since the birth and its aftermath on giving care – to the children, other mothers, hospice patients.
Could I do it? Learn how to play, and not for others’ sakes, but my own?