Creative Wordshops Newsletter September 2022

The art of Ageing

an aged man (woman) is but a paltry thing,
a tattered coat upon a stick, unless
soul clap his hands and sing and louder sing
for every tatter in its mortal dress. (Yeats)

Recently a good friend, Gerald, needing to leave their home in Pringle Bay, gifted some of his books. The Art of Aging. came my way. I wonder what art means in this context, the art of anything? Creativity, imagination, focus, balance, perspective, awareness, selection, proportion, passion, framing – all of these?
Here is a Chinese proverb about books. So here is gold dust from this book so you can believe or offer Coleridge’s ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ to the book:
‘When the 93 year old cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice his instrument for three hours a day, he wryly responded, ‘I’m beginning to notice some improvement.’
‘… As I grow older, thinking about death through all my melancholy there arises a profound sense of acceptance. A recognition of the fragility and impermanence … as Montaigne observed, death is only a few bad moments at the end of life…. ‘
‘My relationship with the world is shifting from outer to inner concerns. Joy, silence, stillness, and contemplation are becoming more important… My attention now has an inward thrust….I find a growing satisfaction in the observation of small things. How the wind is moving through the boughs of a tree, how the tide advances at the water’s edge… Years ago, I took delight in traveling….. Now a few yards of an autumnal hedge row is enough looking at the color of the silvering branches… the flight of birds settling in the naked branches of a tree and the shining lacquered surface of a puddle of water. ‘

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