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Playing isn’t just for kids. Adults need to play too. Having a hobby is great, but speaking from experience, we can get so serious about what started as fun that it can turn into something akin to a chore. Play, as I was reminded of last week, often happens when we least expect it, when we allow ourselves to try something new. And it invariably involves other people.

Writing is mostly a solitary process. And if I’m honest, my creativity has been in the tank the past several months. I was in desperate need of a creative outlet that involved others. Thankfully, an opportunity came just when I needed it most.

A few weeks ago, I modeled in a local fashion show entitled Surrealist Couture of the Blackland Prairie. Yes, you read that correctly. This event took place right here in our small town of Corsicana, Texas. Danish couture fashion designer and visual artist Anne Damgaard was given her third grant by the Danish government to come make art in Corsicana. And make art she did!

Together with input from local talent Nancy Rebal, and with the help of many “seamsters,” Anne created fantastical costumes which represented the history of our town and region. She combined gray pullover sweaters collected from her grandparents’ clothing factory in Denmark together with feed sacks, drop cloths and sequined garments sourced from Corsicana. The finished products were both whimsical and otherworldly. 

Prior to the evening of the show, I didn’t have a clear picture of what the project was all about. It was a crazy, busy time for us on the farm, getting ready for spring break glampers. However, after meeting Anne I was onboard. Since I speak Swedish, we could converse in Danish and Swedish and  understand one another. It was a real treat to connect with her in such a fun way. 

A few days later I went for my fitting, and I’ll have to be honest: I wasn’t crazy about my costume. Then, the day of the shows I almost had a panic attack at the farm as I was getting ready for the arrival of several guests. “How did I have time to be in a fashion show?” I asked myself. But it was too late to back out. Boy am I glad I didn’t!

The level of “play” I experienced the evening of the event was something I’d been missing for quite some time. I got to connect with other creatives and townspeople, collaborating to make something wonderful happen. It brought my heart so much joy. 

So before you say no to doing something that you don’t feel you’re good at or have time for, consider taking a chance. You might just experience something that enriches your life in ways you never dreamed possible. And you may be a blessing to someone else in the process. 

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the March 23, 2024 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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