alter ego nicknames

Practices of spirituality — by which I mean the exploration of being alive and the possibility of having an impact on the world — manifest in all sorts of ways. One of the gifts of integrating the idea of wildness into your exploration of life and impact is how it can crack open (like a weed busting through concrete) preconceptions of what does and doesn’t count as a legitimate practice of mindful living.

My niece turned ten this weekend and hosted an evening of celebration with her parents and a table full of both literal and surrogate aunts, and an uncle. We played games. We made up alter ego nicknames to use during the games: Phoenix, Shadow, Pretzel, Lightning, Ellipsis. We laughed a lot. Phoenix cheated a little. I lost without fail. We pressed against the concrete burdens of adulthood with the verdant authority of childlike laughter.

A chuckle, a snort, a smile, a moment of amusement are each as sacred as a prayer.