Crabs, Memory and Thank You Gifts

I am very excited to say I’ve recently had a small piece published in the International Journal of Play.  It’s in their ‘Memories and Reflections on Play” series, and tells a story from my childhood year spent living on a boat.  It’s chock full of deep play, nature, and the mutability of memory – it is probably the most personal piece of writing I’ve published, and the one I’m most proud of.  Here’s a tiny excerpt.

“My little dinghy liked riding over waves, rising and smacking down into the wake left by larger boats. I could nose her into small gaps, tie up and gather tiny crabs from the huge rocks of the water break or the concrete bridge pylons. The little crabs struggled in and out of my net, legs tangling in the loops, and I’d carefully drop them into the blue and white plastic travel cooler that I’d lined thoughtfully with sea water and grasses. Then I would carry them home as trophies, before inevitably forgetting the cooler in the California sun and returning to find all my little crabs converted into thick green jelly. I could catch other crabs by lying on my belly along the hot concrete and peering into the mossy, barnacled underside of the floating docks we lived in.

Now, as an adult and a playworker, I return to these memories often. They remind me of children’s need for freedom, for risk, for self-determination and the chance to make separation from their family a physical as well as an emotional reality. These memories remind me how careful children can be, and how reckless.”   

You can read a longer preview of it here.

And if you contribute anything at all to our ongoing Indiegogo campaign (which ends THIS WEEKEND) then I’ll send you a link to read THE WHOLE THING online for free.  A savings of $39 to non-subscribers!  Go on – if you give a penny now, Kaboom! will make it tuppence!


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