On https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/tale-weaver-222-the-opportunities-of-old-age-may-9th/ this week Micheal asks us to write about the benefits of old age.
Earlier this year I wrote about aging as a spiritual journey. I still think that developing an vibrant inner life is an important part of aging positively but recently it has occurred to me that there is another aspect to aging that I overlooked in those earlier posts.
Aging gives us a chance to do things slowly. It’s a rare day now when I have to be somewhere at 9am. Usually my days begin in an unhurried way when I journal, read blogs, maybe do a little creative writing, have a light breakfast and generally muddle about.
Mid morning is usualy when I attend to jobs that have to be done and/or see people that I need to see that day.
By mid afternoon I’m slowing down. It’s then that I really start to appreciate the fact I’m getting older. My time is my own and I can do whatever I want to do.
Recently I went to an import warehouse and purchased a few Indian wood blocks. One afternoon this week I inked them up and printed them onto all kinds of scrap paper and cloth:
I had no clear idea of what I was going to do with all these little prints but was curious to see how they looked on various surfaces. Since then I’ve started pasting some into my current visual journal. I’m treating it as a kind of game.
In his prompt Micheal talks about how getting older is often seen as kind of second childhood. As I paste these scraps of paper into my journal along with other collaged materials I feel affinity to the young child I once was. For the first time in years and years I have the time to play about with art supplies without thinking about what kind of product I am making.
I fiddle about with paper, paint and glue until a page feels completed and/or some kind of meaning emerges.
It’s a slow painstaking way of passing the time. Another activity from my childhood that I’ve re-discovered recently is the joy of slow sewing – of stitching by hand. On sunny afternoons I often pull out some fabric and stitch scraps together to make little bags and appliqued cloths. As I work I feel my great grandmother is close by me. She worked as a dressmaker all her life. As I young child I would sit beside her and carefully copy her movements as she taught me the intricacies of stitching cloth by hand.
As I work I often hear my neighbour, the sculptor, chipping away at the huge hunks of rock he periodically gets delivered. He is much older than me and I feel he has been doing this every afternoon for years and years. Listening to him work I have a sense that I have strayed into a magical kingdom where there is finally time to slow down and truly listen to the muse. At last I am free to follow my creative urges wherever they lead me.