Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Yin My Yang | Main | Weekend At Bernie's »

    Plerk ®

           I’m an artist. I like to think of all of life as my canvas. Artists know how to play. When a painter is painting; when a musician is making music; when a writer is writing; they are in essence, playing.
           I’m not saying that there isn’t work involved in those activities. There is. Lots of it. But it boils down to the distinctions we make about why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, and how we relate to those distinctions.
           The verb “Work” is defined as: “To be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result”. Loosely speaking, then, virtually anything you do, from walking down the street to Starbucks, to punching in from nine to five, can be considered “work”. Because there is activity involved, with an intended achieved result.
           Play, on the other hand, is defined as “ to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose”. Notice that In both definitions of play and work, there is “activity”. The basic difference between work and play then comes down then to the distinctions we make between two things: the reason we’re doing it (the result, the “Why”), and the way we’re doing it (the “How”).
           How about coining a new word? Fine, I will. The combination of play and work:  “Plerk”; spelled this way to be pronounced properly. If I spelled it “Plork”, it would be a better linguistic combination of the two words, but would result in pronunciation problems that would lead people to think the word had something to do with swine flesh.
           Combining the definitions of work and play that I previously sited, I could say that “Plerk is an activity engaged in for enjoyment where you also have an intended result”. That nomenclature feels a little stale. So let’s go with this: “Plerk” is defined as “To engage in an activity you enjoy with the intent of creating something”. That’s much better.
           My most engaging activities, the ones where I feel most truly alive, are when I’m “Plerking”. My intended creation could be something tangible, or it could be something completely ethereal, which I’ll get more to in a moment. So writing to me is plerk. So is playing music. In these two examples, I love doing what I’m doing. And I’m creating something as well. What a beautiful thing. Plerk is beautiful.  
           In the creation of something completely ethereal, what I mean is that It doesn’t have to be a “thing”. I’ll use an activity I call Tennis Racquet Rock Star® as an example. Tennis Racquet Rock Star is like air guitar, but you have a tennis racquet in your hand instead of just air. It beats air guitar to hell, because you actually have something in your hands. You have a tool. And that makes all the difference. It doesn’t have to be a tennis racquet, however. I’ve used brooms, canes, basically anything with the approximate length of a guitar that doesn’t weigh much.
           In the case of Tennis Racquet Rock Star, or TRRS®, the achieved result, what I’m creating, is to look like I actually know how to play the guitar. That’s not a “thing”, but it is an intent. I have all these great moves, and I appear to have all the correct fingerings and hit all the notes. Someone watching me who did not know me would think I was the next coming of Eddie Van Halen.
           Now if I were doing TRRS with no intention of looking like I knew what I was doing, then I would just be playing. And that’s fine. But I personally get much more enjoyment when I create the illusion that I know how to play. So I actually like to Plerk more than I like to play.
           Plerking for me is a fuller experience, because the act of creation allows me to bring more of myself into the activity. In the case of TRRS, for example, if I were just playing, I would not be using any of my analytical abilities. If I’m attempting to look like I know what I’m doing, then I need to have analyzed and studied guitarists. And I enjoy analyzing and studying. If I’m Plerking at TRRS, I’m also using my sense of timing, and my dexterity.
           I’ll also have to move. I’ll have to dance. Not only because I enjoy moving and dancing; not only because the music moves me to do that; but because great guitarists have great moves. And I’ve studied those moves, mimicked those moves, and come up with some of my own. So I’m compelled to move and dance and mimic and come up with my own for reasons of play and work. Plerk. And lots of guitarists make expressive, crazy faces. So I get to act a little too. Actually, I make expressive, crazy faces when I play drums. In fact, I make expressive and crazy faces a lot. Period. So maybe it isn’t really acting. Anyway, you get the idea.
           I understand that for most people, work is not so enjoyable. In that case, then play is extremely important. Because you need that yin and yang. If most of your activity is engaged in to achieve a result, and you don’t enjoy that activity very much, you need to balance that out with enjoyable activity where you have no intended result at all.
           That said, try incorporating more Plerking into your life. See what it feels like. You may find you enjoy it so much that you spend more and more time Plerking. And that could lead to a new avocation. A new vocation.
           Maybe even a new career.

    © 2012 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>