Sunday, November 09, 2008

Trifles and Plays

GK Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles:

‘I will sit still and let the marvels and the adventures settle on me like flies. "There are plenty of them, I assure you. The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.’

Quoted by Father Schall in his series of interviews on education.
Also, a neat passage on sports by Father Schall:

Students wonder why games fascinate them because they do. It is because they behold there something that need not exist, that could be otherwise, but which exists according to the rules, according to the drama of the game. We do not know how it will turn out. Our lives themselves are exactly like this if we think about it.

So play is both an introduction to ethics — play fairly — and to metaphysics, to the fascination of the things that are but need not be. Msgr. Sokolowski often makes the point, as does Pieper, and Aquinas for that matter, that the world need not exist, but does. Games need not exist but do. Life cannot be properly lived and games cannot be properly played unless we know their order, how they proceed. As spectators we behold something unfold before us, how things will turn out, according to the rules of play that need not be, but are.

..... Aristotle says that games are not so exalted as drama, but none the less they are like unto it. They take place in freedom. We can see in them that there really are things that are worthy for their own sakes," we suspect that there might be other things even more worthy."

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