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Playing Grown-Up

Playing Grown-Up

Maria writes:
Rick and I are often privy to our granddaughters’ conversations of play, when they come to visit.  They play on the porch, just off the kitchen, where we often sit.  Indy and Mazzy are inspiring pretenders.  It’s fascinating what they harvest from us, their parents and teachers, hanging on to only what they deem worthy (translation: fun), and (apparently) tossing the rest.

      I was that kind of player, often on my own resulting from being born between 2 brothers.  My father often told me it was my job to play and I took it to heart.  I sometimes wonder what would have happened if Rick and I were playmates/neighbors early on, and found soulmates in each other,  as we eventually did.   If we played like Mazzy and Indy, making up scenarios out of the “inspirations du jour”, and concocted lives we could only have lived in our dreams. 

     Unlike the girls, we would not have assumed lives as kings and queens, nor unicorns with frilly accoutrements. But, maybe,  traveled the world in search of magical places, interesting people and great stories, never before heard. We would have been servants to famous artists and musicians, learning the great secrets of creating an opus of our very own.   We would have pretended we had discovered a brand new art form, that had folks begging for us to teach them how this was done.  People would come from all over the world.  Rick and I would work together, like a magic act, showing them intricate patterns and drawings, then demonstrate how they, too, can do what seems to be impossible. And Rick says, oh! Oh! And we can play music and entertain them and have all sorts of fun, how cool would that be?  But I can’t play music, I respond. That’s ok, he smiles. You can dance! You might even need some frilly accoutrements!

And they lived happily ever after.


Or was it just the beginning?  Who’s to say?



  • Thanks to the Zentanglemethod I can play and dream my whole life… Thank you so much Rick and Maria!

    Ria Matheussen on

  • I used to think that dreaming and playing was about the impossible, the unreal. And I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘having fun’. Until I met you two. Rick and Maria, you have inspired me and changed my life in so many ways. Thanks for living your dream. Sharing it is like tossing a pebble in a pond – the ripples go further than you can imagine.

    Milde Weiss (CZT 17) on

  • And just like that the Journey began…

    Carolyn CZT13 on

  • Oh my gosh! What adorable children you were! Although I’m not surprised! Hugs and tangles to you both!! ❤️

    Brenda Shaver on

  • I live with pain everyday and doing Zentangle helps me not to think about it. Thank you so much for creating it and for sharing it. I so want to go to a seminar on Zentangling but can’t afford it so I read your blogs and download the 12 days of Christmas and absorb everything I can on Zentangle. May God bless you for what you do To change people’s lives and give them permission to dream.

    Linda Mensching on

  • My Motto, The Most Fun Wins! Zentangle and you all brought some happiness and play back into my life after open heart surgery 4 years ago. It must of been karma that I found a book on Zentangle and ordered it. My life has been changed forever. Thank You!

    Sue Leslie CZT 22 on

  • I consider myself so incredibly fortunate to have met you two and the rest of the ZT family (family by blood and the other ZT crew members, since you apparently specialize in hiring some of the nicest people on the planet). Thank you for all you have brought me and taught me. May your moments of “play” never cease.

    Meridiana on

  • I love the idea of frilly accoutrements! That, indeed, needs exploration…..and maybe it’s own tangle! Wonderful fun. 😊

    Joanna Quincey on

  • What adorable childhood pictures of you both! What a magical, creative surrounding you are giving to your grandchildren!

    Linda JF on

  • Play is a child’s work. As adults we too often forget that it’s also a necessary part of adulthood. Keep playing!

    Margaret Bremner on

  • Obviously you two were meant to be together, not just for yourselves, but for oh so many more people! I think you are two wonderous people who are really really good at manifesting! And may that continue to be the case, forever and ever…

    Jan on

  • What a wonderful story. It just goes to show we travel in both realms, right? The waking realm and the dreaming realm.

    Roseanne Sabol on

  • I will forever be grateful that I stumbled across Zentangle when seeking something to keep me sane while recovering from open heart surgery. I have been blessed in so many ways by having it be a part of my daily life, not the least of which is the artwork and musings you share with us, your devotees. The love you have for one another is quite infectious and bleeds over to everyone you touch. Yes, it would be great fun to go back and redo our childhood, growing and playing with the people that have become such an integral part of our lives as adults. There is so much to be learned from children and seniors alike, if you simply pause to listen. Thank you ever so much for sharing this! 🙇🏻‍♀️✍🏻♥️🥰

    Lovely Rita on

  • New Year blessings! LOVE TO ALL OF YOU🙏🏻😘❤️

    Karen Izzi,PhD on

  • Awww… this 😘

    Carol Graham CZT12 on

  • As I read this post, my mind heard Doris Day singing, “Que sera, sera. What will be, will be.”
    Many thanks for sharing your dreams and designs on life, love, and zentangle.

    Sharyn on

  • What a beautiful musing. Thanks for sharing.

    Linda Dochter on

  • Here’s to living your dream…

    Nancy CZT18 on

  • Yes. I like to listen to my grandchildren play. The four year-old is so creative. He picks up any toy and makes up a story to go along with it. It’s always interesting and fun. It’s nice that you have memories of doing that as a child. I hope that my grandchildren will remember too.

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful life you have it’s always inspirational

    Lisa on

  • Thanks for the reminder to play. I didn’t grow up in a very playful environment, as far as I can remember, but I found play outside my immediate family. In that part of my life adventure, I learned to laugh a lot and really value my friends. Artfully, I’m re-inventing my abilities to be creative with pen and paper. Many thanks to Maria, Rick, and all the other great teachers. It’s a delightful journey!

    Paula Schneider on

  • “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Deb Myers, CZT18 on

  • Your post reminds me of the long hours that my sisters and I played, creating complete worlds of adventure and fun. Perhaps that is the point, to play through each of our days with joy and wonder, even as adults. Thank you both.

    Leslie Hancock on

  • Fairy tales can come can happen to you… if you’re young at heart…

    Dorian on

  • I love the child’s play in the two of you. What a wonderful post to remind me to never forget the simple beauty of the beginning of my journey with Zentangle. It has been a wonderful gift of ever lasting child’s play.

    Melinda Barlow on

  • Wonderful reflection! Thanks for sharing! It goes well with my life-philosophy that if everyone had art supplies and did art, we would all get along and wars would be no more.

    Kim on

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