Today was my observance of Yom Kipper - during the day there were no references to play but that is because my current method of addressing the religious/spiritual requirements is solitary and I only participate in group prayer at the end.
One of the things that struck me was play in it's absence individually and then watching children who had been caught in 24 hours of deep adult engagement with organinzations/kinship and spirituality interact.
Their play was mostly physical spinning and kicking and making games that led to more and more uncoordinated movements. We don't drive and they had to walk home - the words of one child to the mother were extremely oppositional but there was a sense of play and also a sense of using play for "cover" to paste over an existing dynamic and power struggle. Another child used no words but kept the extreme hyper physicality and lack of coordination while also consistently doing the opposite of what was being asked.
They were in things coded play but they experienced no release. The adults had fasted 24 hours and experienced many complicated social interactions and will most likely be reacting inside their own family expectations and psychodynamics but I am left with the observation:
The physicality of the child created play absorbed energy from the adults who had strained theirs through ritual and personal acts during the day. The energy used in their play was reciprocal and generative of more energy - it still coded as "play" when the interaction stopped being something I would have defined as play or "playful" and the reason was the child knew they were inverting the power dynamic - I was the only non-family member present in the room - there was still an element of performance and challenging my authority as an adult - it was not play - play was hastily added on at the end but it was performance based on observing my reaction. It was a tactic.
But there is tactical play.
I need to think about this.