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A LOT IN COMMON - November 1, 2023


There are two “hobbies” that occupy a goodly portion of my retirement time. I used quotation marks around the word “hobbies” because I’m not certain where the line is drawn between pastimes and passions. The dictionary defines hobby as a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. A passion, on the other hand, is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement either for something or about doing something. The difference appears to be a matter of degree.

By that measure, I probably would say that weaving is my hobby but writing is my passion. I’ve been writing since I was a child, a very long time. Weaving came to me later when my best friend persuaded me to let her teach me how to weave. Weaving was her passion and became my pleasure, my hobby.

I think subconsciously I felt they had a lot in common. First, and most obvious, they both require tools. I could easily have typed “toys” instead of tools. Any hobby worth its salt has physical means to the ultimate ends. It helps that they bring tactile pleasure. A handmade wooden shuttle that weaves yarn through a warp on a loom brings a pleasure that is similar to a fountain pen leaving a trail of inked words on a dazzling white page.

Weaving is expressive in its materials, its colors, its designs, its textures. Writing, too, conveys emotion in its nouns and verbs and all those adjectives. They are both forms of art meant to communicate with the user. I feel lucky to have both weaving and writing in my life.

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