Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

What is Fun?

A post at favorite oboe player’s blog got me thinking about the notion of fun today and why I love to do things that are sometimes quite hard and challenging:

I don’t always go to movies to have fun. I don’t go to concerts to have fun either. I have fun when I go to Disneyland. (And I admit I love Disneyland … sorry to those of you who don’t get it! I become a little kid the minute I walk through that gate!)

I go to movies, concerts and operas to be moved. I go to learn something new. I go to somehow be changed. I go for a variety of reasons, but fun isn’t usually one of them. (Okay, maybe when I go to see goofy movies, but those are fairly rare for me.)

I want to be left with something when I am done with whatever event I’m attending. I love it when, days later, I’m still thinking about what I saw or heard. And I want to feel something … even if it’s anger. I don’t like to walk away thinking, “Whatever” or “So what?”

It occurs to me that is pretty much why I’m willing to carry a large, heavy backpack up and down over high and difficult mountain passes, sometimes for more than a week at a time. If the definition of fun is “smiling broadly or laughing outloud because, gee, I’m just plain having a good old time,” then backpacking, most of the time, doesn’t qualify. (Though sometimes, with the right group of friends, sitting around in the evening doing whatever it is we do does qualify as plain old fun!)

But the experiences do teach me (often about myself), move me, stay on my mind, and most certainly leave me changed in ways that are worth any amount of sweat and pain.

Well, almost any amount… :-)
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June 9, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary

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