"The Boatwright" at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, is that it starts the wheels turning in your head. Days later, I find myself thinking about ideas the play has planted.
Written by Virginia playwright Bo Wilson, the script won a national play writing contest sponsored by the American Association of Community Theatres and is receiving its world premier production this month at Civic. It's the story of a retired widower who combats loneliness by building a boat in his garage.
It sounds like a ridiculous project for someone in the middle of Kansas with practically no sailing experience. But it got me thinking about the "boats" all of us build as a means of coping. One person might take up golf. Someone else might plant a garden. I usually take on more projects than I can possibly accomplish. Like buying a pottery wheel and turning out bowls and mugs for Christmas presents. Or getting a dulcimer and never taking time to practice. Or writing a series of mysteries. Ah, yes. That's like building a yacht.
Is building a boat -- or whatever project a person chooses -- a healthy coping mechanism? Or is it "tilting at windmills" like Don Quixote? Does the way we spend our time need to be logical? Should our hours be meted out to activities that will accomplish the most good, be that financial gain or health improvement or world reform? Or is it okay to build a boat that will never make it out of the garage? And who decides what's okay and what's a waste of our precious time?