Today I observed two people playing the game known as “Shiritori.” I was not involved in the game, only an observer. Basically, the game known as “shiritori,” involves connecting words by their last letter. In this way, “snake” can connect to “elephant” and so on creating a chain of connected words. The two people drew little pictures above each word they passed to each other and this served as a mode of communication between them. That is to say, they were not randomly choosing the words as I just did (“snake”/”elephant”) but carefully choosing each word as something relevant to their daily life. So, words and pictures were drawn of their favorite animation characters, food they liked, objects they owned, etc. This was a representation of their selves.
At the end of their playing, they studied the piece of paper commenting on the overall choices of words/images and their faces shined with delight at the completed project as identity was blossoming and the list of images/pictures served to bring them together, opened up a new space between them and their friendship. I think that this kind of play is healthy for us and can perhaps bring things out of us that we didn’t know were there while at the same time it can conjure up things from our lives that we have perhaps forgotten about. Moreover, we can connect.
How we connect to each other through shared interests under the rule-umbrella of this game can also be seen as a metaphor for how we talk to each other in our daily lives. That is, how we relate to the other and how we can inspire each other and grow together.
What exists between you and I, even though it may seem far apart, can be brought together through our interaction and gestures. Moreover, what can be created in the space between us can be realized; something can come into existence through us. Also, in this way, by carefully choosing the words that we say, we can learn to have better control over our speech and perhaps participate in more fruitful conversations, more enriching conversations, more aesthetically pleasing conversations and more humanizing conversations with each other.
Photo by Dan Strange (CC)