QUICK THOUGHTS ABOUT SLOW MOVEMENTS
Saturday morning, I took my walk in the park nearby my home. The temperature was forecast to rise above 90 degrees, so a number of people were exercising or walking their dogs while it was cool. Under a stand of trees, a group had gathered to practice Tai Chi and as I walked a little further, I came upon a horseshoe tournament. Pausing, I noticed a smattering of younger men sprinkled among the grey haired set. Eventually, I walked on, allowing the clank of horseshoes as they struck their targets to fade. As I did, I couldn’t help wondering if the old men had begun their practice as young men. Like Tai Chi, the activity was one a person could begin at an early age yet maintain over time.
Writing, too, is an interest a person can enjoy throughout life. Daniel Schorr, a renowned journalist who died on Friday at 93, was still employed as a senior news analyst for National Public Radio (NPR) when he died.
I’ve noticed that a number of retirees have discovered that writing is user friendly. Memoir writing classes seemed to be springing up everywhere. An acquaintance recently confessed she’d taken one through the park bureau and was beginning a family history. When I asked when she hoped to finish it, she shrugged. “I’m in no hurry.”
I noticed her smile.She was writing for pleasure and seemed surprised by it. Having the leisure to collect her thoughts and put them down on paper brought more than feelings of nostalgia; she was learning about herself too. “I get stuck on an idea,” she observed. “Then I go to bed and the next morning, I wake up knowing just what to do.” I returned her smile, companionably. I knew exactly what she meant.
The joy of writing, like the joy of cooking, brings a sense of accomplishment; but writing provides more. We not only observe the world, explore our memories or examine events, but we also discover how the mind works — revelatory insights that keep us young.
Having an activity a person can engage in throughout life is as important to well-being as breathing clean air. Running the marathon or doing a triathlon have their places, but one needs slow movements too. Tai chi, horseshoes, writing, pleasures like these can carry us to the finish line.