Driving back from the blacksmith's yesterday, I picked up a hitchhiker whose father had taken up blacksmithing in his retirement. I liked picking this young man up: It was a kind of late-blooming payback for all the rides I had once gotten when hitchhiking across the country.
For all of our 10-mile ride, it was pleasant conversation. He was/is a musician who taught guitar and drums and seemed to make a living even in an economy where people are cutting back on various 'frivolous' pastimes. We got to talking about the world of art and its trends and drawbacks, all with the assumption that art really wasn't frivolous when it came to assuaging the soul.
I can't remember his name, but during the Depression, there was once a man who cast a variety of famous bronze doors and other artifacts and spent a considerable portion of his personal fortune employing novices who would keep his art alive during hard times. His cathedral doors and other public pieces still grace the land, but the fame and fortune were clearly not his only motivators. Beauty was not frivolous.
Funny how one (wo)man's frivolity is another (wo)man's life blood.
Is there any pastime which, if followed with patience and determination, will not take the student home? I doubt it. From ant farms to symphonies to changing spark plugs to profound philosophy ... how frivolous could it be?