An English professor in college, early 80’s I’m pretty sure, was talking in class one day, musing with us what kinds of professions in the liberal arts were conducive to productive longevity. Historians seemed to not only survive but thrive, possibly, he said, because as we age we tend to muse and compare and find threads in not only our own lives, but the lives of us as people, as a being onto itself — humanity.
I was already in my early 30’s by then, having earned GI benefits via the Air Force, and his words provoked in me the question, which creative activities might provide a similar path for me as I aged?
Painting and writing were already my main interests.
Would I need to write historical novels, I wondered.
Pictures? Images? What, how?
The past few weeks, my wife and I began a slow move to a new home (slow even for 70 year olds, lol!), including retrieving long stored boxes of paintings and prints of paintings storage.
My paintings, my images, my creativity — or rather the history of my creativity — brought back memories of that lecture that day in Literature class.
I could see myself as I was in different times and sets of mind. The differences minute among the similarities. The stylistic changes were just changes of clothes for different occasions and weather.
How did I realize this?
When, among piles of boxes waiting to be weaned, I grasped a small impression I’d painted fifteen years ago or so of one of our kitties, Cottonball, in the backyard of a house we owned then, and imagined what the world looked like to him — plants to sniff and chew, space where the unknown slept, and a deck to leap onto if threatened.
It was there — I was seeing first hand my searching for that thread that makes us not only a people, but that keeps us connected to the plants and animals we live among, and by not too much of an extension, I think..the stars…. 😊
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