In Thoughts On Art and Life, Leonardo DaVinci relates the following story:
“I…wandered for some time among the dark rocks, and came to the entrance of a great cave, in front of which I stood in astonishment and ignorance of such a thing. I bent my back into an arch and rested my left hand on my knee, and with my right hand shaded my downcast eyes and contracted eyebrows. I bent down first on one side and then on the other to see whether I could perceive anything, but the thick darkness rendered this impossible; and after having remained there some time, two things arose within me, fear and desire—fear of the dark and threatening cave, desire to see whether there were anything marvelous within.”
This is a picture of play at its fullest. We come to something we do not know. It astonishes us. We are curious and try to explore it from without at first, bending this way and that. But we will only know so much from the outside looking in. To enter in, we must face the fear and let desire compel us to the marvels within. To play fully is to know. Curiosity compels us to risk. And we discover.