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Deep Play

Amy Ma's picture


We are somewhat stick to music. The night before farewell, my friends and I sang on a street near Funan River. It was almost eleven in the evening, but still lots of people passed by, because it was Saturday.  One of my friends said, “Why don’t we sing?” “Shall we?” “Why not? We are going to different places tomorrow, and we can’t see each other until next summer.” “Next Summer” That was the phrase that touched me.  Next summer is way too far. Too far. Then we began to sing. Loudly. Crazily. Passionately. Sadly. Happily. That moment, all I saw were my friends’ faces, and the light across the river. I shouted out, "If there is world where things never change, where people never say goodbye and never die." It is a little bit strange to say, I didn’t see any one passing by. All I did was singing, as loudly as I can. The feeling was mixed. Some sadness some happiness. After that, I felt sense of release, and I finally started to think about the people around.



“Deep play is the ecstatic form of play.” (Deep Play, 7) For me deep play is that when I am doing something, I am not aware of I am doing that, because you are so attracted to it. It is when you are so indulged into something that you don’t care about the surroundings. There are moments when I am watching a movie and didn’t check my cell phone; when I was reading a book and didn’t turn to the last page to see how many pages were still left; when I was working on a math problem, and I got the answer, and I raised my head, feeling sour in my neck and realized it has been 30 minutes. Here is a famous Chinese pianist who I think deep plays when he plays the piano.

His facial expressions show that he is indulged in playing piano. He is in his own world. It is like everything else is just everything else: they don’t matter at all. It would be embarrassing if he was aware of people around. Another important element in deep play is ignoring the surroundings. Deep play is too personal to be shared with others. Even if the audiences are deep playing with the music they hear, they cannot experience the deep play that the pianist is experiencing. For example, I don’t play the piano, but I love music. I might deep play with the pianist’s music, but I cannot deep play by playing the piano since I don’t even know how to. But I play the guitar, so I deep play with guitar . So I also think deep play is something manageable. For instance, how can a primary school student( not those genius) deep play with college level mathematics? How can I deep play with Hebrew?


As for deep play in critical writing, it is the same. I think when the writing is something you are interested in, something that makes a lot of sense to you, something you have passion for, you will be able to deep play. The readers may deep play by reading or they may not. They use the words the writer writes down to imagine a scene, a person, a plot etc. It is all based on their own thoughts and experiences, so one hundred readers have one hundred different interpretations. But generally, deep play writing is more genuine for readers. For writers, deep play writing is more spontaneous, more enjoyable. I do think it is easier to deep play in something related to real life. My first paper about my hometown is very personal, and is the closest to my life. But there is actually no idea in that essay. I think if I add more about what I thought, about the deep play in my mind, or even mood, instead of just telling a story, it would have an idea.