Friday, January 28, 2011

What is Creative Aging?

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure." as Joseph Campbell notes. That's the real key. Saying a hearty yes to the adventure, whether the adventure is surfing out on Mama Ocean into one's 60s or 70s or living an inspired life in the sequestered regions of an assisted living facility as one of my dear friends is doing currently.

Her way of enjoying her environment and experience is a real inspiration. "The universe decided to give me a refuge, a retreat situation," she told me recently. So in her own fashion, with an appreciation and sense of humor about everyone and everything she meets in the assisted living facility, a lively interest in books and ideas and an acknowledgement of her current situation as a valuable learning experience, she is doing some real surfing herself. She is aging artfully, using her life experience creatively. Creative aging means continuing to engage in what gives you pleasure, whether it's surfing, writing, dancing or cooking. It has as much to do with being as it does with doing.

Finding the beauty in each moment. Replenishing, communing with nature. Being at home within oneself. Each step of life's journey is meaningful. Entertaining delight... being really alive...because each of us is an instrument, a channel, a resonant spectrum. The music of life streams through us. Creative aging means giving voice to our inspiration and love. Perhaps someday I'll concoct a real list, but these will do until then.

There is plenty of great news about creative aging. Here are a few recent stories that I found interesting and wanted to share. One is a terrific video clip of the work of dancer Anna Halprin at 85.

NPR recently ran a story on a new book titled Lastingness, which focuses on creativity in the later life of some famous artists including Georgia O'Keefe and William Butler Yeats. And finally, I loved a recent New York Times article on the fascinating life of Poppa Neutrino, a very adventurous, creative fellow, who passed over recently at 77. Neutrino built a raft from scrap and crossed the Atlantic on it! The New York Times obituary describes him as an "itinerant philosopher, adventurer and environmentalist." A New Yorker writer named Alec Wilkinson wrote a book about Neutrino titled "The Happiest Man in the World." Hmmm....I will have to look into this further.

For reasons beyond my ken at this moment, I am having trouble linking to those two items, so will just mention them here. You readers are all industrious souls, so if you want to find them, I'm sure you can do it. Or check out my postings on Facebook.

Wishing you pleasure, meaning and delight in your own unique crafting of the art of aging. Here, I am gearing up to produce and film my musical revue on aging "A New Wrinkle." Please visit my website at to learn more about the revue or to sign up for my newsletter. Bon voyage!

“Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.” --William Somerset Maugham

1 comment:

  1. You are very inspirational about aging -- you gave me some thoughtful words with this post. -- the video was excellent -- thanks -- barbara