Just For Fun

Cassandra Sagans dog Zusha

Cassandra Sagan's dog Zusha, the abominable snow dog

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Just for Fun

Just for Fun story

Mozart on roller blades video

DW3 Practice

Dancing the World into Form Poem

Anti-Depression Video video

Raise a hand in blessing movement


Take a deep breath, let it out with a sigh.

Just for Fun story
by Cassandra Sagan of Portland, OR

When I was a kid in Brooklyn I was a contestant on a TV show called “Just for Fun.” I had a terrible time. Before the live broadcast began, the host, Sonny Fox, went around the audience asking for jokes. My dad had written me a perfect one: I would ask Sonny Fox, “What do you get when you turn funny socks inside out?” Sonny Fox! But he was sweaty and impatient in person.  He picked seven other kids and never even called on me. My team lost a carload of prizes—Suzy Homemaker ovens, talking dolls, games with fancy plastic moving parts— because I couldn’t sweep a ball fast enough across the slippery floor. I felt chubby and ashamed. The losing players got one of those metal looms where you make pot holders out of mop fibers.

Tom Robbins says “It’s never too late to have a good childhood.” Studies show that children learn by playing. And as we become more and more a culture of lifelong learners, we require Lifelong Playing. So let’s play, “Just for Fun.”

Mozart on roller blades video

DW3 Practice
Dance Write Dance Write Dance Write

I love to sit on my balance ball and write. The poem, the song, the midrash, the e-mail is in my body, my feet on the ground, my breath blowing my lips to raspberries. I’m a sloppy writer, bouncing a little, leaning back and working those abs, circling my hips and breathing into my kidneys, or my liver, whatever it is back there that needs breathing into. I drape my body over the kitchen counter, the Muse at my back, kneel on the rug with my tush in the air, curl like a cat on the sofa. I take a legal pad and walk all over the house, the deck, the yard.

Do a DW3—Begin in stillness.

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sound.

You can do a one hand dance, a full body dance, a chair dance, balance ball dance, lie on the floor for a couple of minutes and roll dance. It might be a different dance each round.

And then write. Let the words come out of your dance, your body.

You can write longhand or type. Try thrusty writing, flowy writing. It can be utter nonsense phrases hooked together with commas and conjunctions. Write in a shape. Imagine you can breathe the words out. Start out with something you always say. Write in Fake German, capitalizing Significant words. If you happen to write something Pulitzer that’s lovely, but it’s not the goal. Just write for the sheer fun of it. A few minutes, a few lines, a few words. And then dance again, write again. Do that three times.

Dancing the World into Form Poem
by Cassandra Sagan, the results of a DW3

Words, I’ve missed
the way you slipped through my hands
onto the page, slithering
a while before you disappeared.
It was you I was looking for:

all those years all those men,
writhing from one excruciating love poem to another.
Poor Younger Self had all the right components
dumped into her like a junk drawer.

But, Girlfriend, I’ve missed
the way we used to play
freeze tag, you were beautiful
the way shadows are beautiful
flickering on the edges of light.

Remember how we danced with the Clown Goddess?
All it took was a smile,
a Tai Chi flick of the wrist.
We were twelve-years-old
torn between the childhood we’d lost
and the womanhood we could only long for.
Living Words, I want to press
myself against you until my DNA whirls
in synchrony with your Hebrew, Sanskrit, cuneiform,

I want to kiss you
like a prayer book, a siddur,
like tzitzit, the fringe of my prayer shawl
wrapped around us as we dance this world into form.

Anti-Depression Video video

Raise a Hand in Blessing movement

When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too.

Listen to Leonard Cohen’s DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE while you dance.

Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh.

Note: This week’s posting is created by Cassandra Sagan. Cassandra is a new Portland, OR InterPlay leader and organizer, a writer, a poet in the schools, a Ukelele playing songstress, and a leader in her synagogue. She will assist Cynthia Winton-Henry at the Applied Improvisation Network conference in Oregon this November.


3 Responses to Just For Fun

  1. Connie Pwll says:

    Very nice! I love Leonard Cohen and this is one of my favorite of his songs. I had never seen the video before. It was lovely! Thank you!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you – this was just what I needed this morning. Loved the story – we feel for that little girl. And LOVE that we can still play! The Mozart is amazing. And the babies – Oh My God! I’ll keep smiling all day – and waving my hand around.

  3. Donna Fromm says:

    Thank you! The DW3 was powerful for me….I appreciate your work! Blessings!

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