more than one voice

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


she realised that it was never too late to have a happy childhood

When I was a child I remember how much I loved to play. I used to play really hard, no matter what I was playing with.  I was in love with playing. 

I remember digging in the big bank behind our house, carving roads and towns out of the sandstone.  I had little cars that travelled on my roads, I can remember it so well, I can almost feel the red sand making my hands all dirty, and see the veins in the stones as I carved out my cities.  I must have been about five or six when this game consumed my days. Long hot summers spent sitting in the dirt making my towns, picking flowers from my mom’s garden to decorate my houses.  When I got bored of this miniature world and of my own company, I made larger camps in the veld, with the other kids in the neighbourhood. In those days, it was safe to venture beyond the confirms of our garden.  We made camps and played on the ant hills; sometimes we were naughty and would break open the ant hills to see inside, the intricate tunnels fascinated us.

When I was about eleven I remember thinking that soon I would be too old to play, and I would have to pack all my toys away, and grow up.  I didn’t like this thought at all, I remember feeling like time was running out, that I had to get in as much playing as I could, I felt panic.  Looking back, it is quiet a strange thing for a child to think, but then again I was a serious ‘player’.

I wish I could have told that little girl that her days of playing were not fading away, that she might have to grow up but she could always play. I swopped my dolls and cars for paint and clay and fabric, and continued to play, to loose myself in imagination, and fantasy.  I think we all need this in our lives, just because we are all grown up doesn’t mean that we don’t still need to play.


  1. Oh, this reminds me of myself. Some years ago, when I started beeing a replacement granny for Sandra, I started playing again together with her and I could feel how much I had been missing it. Now I'm playing most of my days and are happy with that. I had some years that I should act like a "real" grownup and they don't play was my thoughts. Nonsense!
    Enjoy playing for as long as you want!

  2. This is a real good telling about something wonderful - I can see you little Clare, I just came to visit an play with you! Anybody else wants to join?

    "I swopped my dolls and cars for paint and clay and fabric, and continued to play, to loose myself in imagination, and fantasy."

    How much I love this sentence!

  3. Play is so important. These days I try to give my children as much free play as possible, so they may even become bored enough to discover ways to full fill their playing without being entertained by others or things.

    I will never stop playing either! Lovely post.

  4. The memory of being young....and playing is a meloncholy thought to me.....imparts a sadness to me...

    Though I wholeheartedly agree that what I do now in the studio is a type of is still rooted in the rules and seriousness of being an adult. I wish this weren't so...

    Your childhood sounds have such an expressive spirit....what a fantastic way to keep the child in you alive and well :)

  5. Wonderful! I love to play too! And our imagination and creativity grows the more we play! Patsy from

  6. Oh Clare, you touched my heart with this one, I love to play and still collect dolls. Thanks for dropping by my blog, got you entered for the give away. I just have to tell you, your blog has become one of my favorites and one of the first blogs I go to everyday.
    Your an amazing writer as well as artist!!!
    your biggest fan,

  7. Playing is my hobby. I too remember play hard. I wash clothes (doll clothes), hung them out to dry, set tea parties up for dolls and my friends who came over with their dolls. Made cookies for the tea parties. What fun! Thoughts from the past, good memories. Thanks for the reminder--

  8. Such a sweet, lovely story, Clare. I remember my childhood to be the best years of my life and I think those who share the same feelings as I do are very fortunate indeed. I do agree that the days of playing will never be over, after all, what's the fun in life without it? :)

    Your painting is delicately sweet, by the way...

  9. Wow...that really brought back memories! I was a hard player, too. My friends from the neighborhood built towns in the woods behind my house (the town was named "Woodsville"!). I grew up with horses so a lot of days, I would ride for 8 or 9 hours (I brought that into adulthood, training horses until I was almost 30). Now, I play every day with paint, fabric, clay and metal. Thanks for that lovely post...your painting is gorgeous, too!

  10. I agree (you put it beautifully)! I'm thankful we can still "play" no matter how old we grow.
    My Blog

  11. I completely agree, you are never too old or grown up for play. It is an important part of our lives and peace of mind. Very beautiful art work. I love it.

  12. She's gorgeous! I missed her and how could I, wow!
    Love your post on playing. A serious player in your mini city world, love it! I imagined being there with you. How you thought about growing up too. You were so grown up but glad you swoped for paints etc so you can carry on with your serious play time. Not serious in a bad way, in a dedicated way! :)

  13. Dearest Clare,

    PLAY has been a reoccurring theme in my life connected we are. It's so true, all of it. We are NEVER too old and we should never stop playing. Thank-you for the reminder. I just LOVE that your girlie is holding a red car! xo


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