Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fun -- what is it when you've hit the bit 7-0?

Several years ago I was invited for a weekend in the country by someone several years older than I who said, "It will be fun." I get hung up on words as many writers do. I've been hung upon "fun" since that invitation. Fun has a ring of childish games, of running and jumping, turning cartwheels, cannon-balling into swimming pools. A little less physically active it sounds like laughing hard, bantering, joking, pure amusement as at a slapstick movies. It may later on and more sedately be a spirited game of cards or Scrabble or something that tweaks the brain, playing charades maybe. These are my associations and prejudices.

The dictionary defines it as amusement or entertainment both of which are adult words in my ears. That weekend in the country, long ago, was enjoyable. That seems the perfect word for a largely quiet weekend with a friend exploring a place, having a good dinner, relaxing. Not really entertaining and actually not "fun" as I would use the word.

These thoughts are on my mind today because I had difficulty falling asleep last night because I had had the "fun" of writing a short story in a spontaneous way. I had been challenged with a couple of lines that needed to be included in a story. They seemed entirely unrelated. When I first saw them I thought, no way! But then I sat down and began writing, not automatically, but very spontaneously. After a couple of hours I had written a story that pleased me for several reasons although I did not feel it was a particularly good story. I surprised myself with it's unfolding, with the characters who were created very easily, a couple of situations that contrast interestingly an ending that was a little bit of a twist but entirely logical.

I realized my mind had been playing in the spontaneous way children's bodies play and this was truly FUN! I had almost the feeling of adrenaline high that, as a child, a spirited game of tag or hide and seek gave me, the high of a very competitive game of volley ball. I suppose many others my age have similar experiences when discovering an artisan well of creativity is delightful and produces a familiar sense of fun for which you need no accomplice.

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