Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Christ In Winter: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter…

What do you do when you have nothing to do? You turn to your hobbies.

Except I don’t have any. I told that to Helen. She said it was not true, that I do have hobbies. And she is, as usual, right. She pointed out that I read, and I do sports, both watching and participating.

I think of a hobby, though, as something you do with your hands, making bird houses or quilts, growing things in a garden, chopping wood, pulling mushrooms, restoring a car or a book. By that definition, I don’t have a hobby.

But I have always assumed that old people are supposed to do hobbies—dip candles, whittle wooden horses, etch the Gettysburg Address on the head of a pin, brew weird beer, quilt, scrapbook, spray graffiti.

I guess my hobby is writing. It’s a hands-on thing, at least for the time being. I have a friend who has a voice-recognition computer. He sends me emails without touching keys. I’m not sure if I wrote that way it could be considered a hobby. “Look, Ma, no hands.”

Bob Hammel, the great sports writer, says that when he wrote a column, he felt like a pianist, with words flowing from the tips of his fingers the way notes flow from the finger tips of a Cliburn or Paderewski on the piano keys.

I guess I have not thought of writing as a hobby because, for a long time, writing was my work. Along the way, I tried many different ways of using words, of writing. I was adequate at most of them, but not really great at any, save one. I can tell simple little stories in simple little ways. I’m pretty good at that.

I recently decided that I was too old even for hobbies, that I needed to spend all my time on my inward self, getting ready to die, instead of doing outward work, writing. I have no particular reason to think I shall die soon, except that I am old, and all old people will die soon.

Some folks can use their outward work, especially something like writing, to look inward, also. That has happened to me at times. I learned important things about myself and for myself by writing something for others. I am, however, a compulsive sort of guy. I have to be all in or all out. So I felt that if I did any writing, it had to be for myself alone.

So far, that has been a bust. I spend all my inward time getting great ideas for things I could write to share rather than to enhance my inward obit.

So, thank you for reading, and for your patience.


I tweet as yooper1721.

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