By Jesse Anson Dawn
Tips on Keeping Mind and Body Young
Jesse Anson Dawn, age 55, author of the national award-winning book, Never
Old, speaks out about a most stirring subject: how and why we age.
Presently answering the question:
Im quite interested in what youve been saying about how musical creativity affects the aging process. And what about painting or drawing, how does that influence aging of the mind/body?
Its truly amazing how creativity, whether it be art, writing or music, can revitalize not only the spiritbody of adults, but children as well. And as to an example of how painting or drawing can positively influence us, Dan Wakefield points this out in his refreshing book Creating From the Spirit, where he gives testimony from the parent, author and prolific writer April Smith:
Part of the creativity of being a parent, says April, is being able to live in the moment, because the childrens whole lives are in the present . . . Its awesome, and it makes you value the moment when you see how it passes so quickly. It makes you grateful in a spiritual way . . . Yesterday morning it was raining and the three of us did watercolors together, I was just pulling the brush across the page. It was almost like meditation, you can just be. It doesnt have to be work. The kids help the creativity I need in my work absorbing their spontaneity, seeing the way they think is refreshing. It loosens up a lot of structures that are calcified. And indeed a little art-play can do just that.
But what is art and how does it affect mind/body processes?
Art and Aging
Art is not a thing, its a way, writes philosopher Elbert Hubbard . . . and in the same way all true rejuvenation is an art. But if we believe that all true artists are picture painters, then lets consider examples like Pablo Picasso, Georgia OKeeffe, Wil-lem de Kooning and Marc Chagall, all actively painting into their 90s with Chagall continuing until he was 97 and OKeeffe until she was 98. Or even as far back as the 1500s, the perpetually youthful Michelangelo didnt stop creating masterpieces until passing on at 89. Or how about that quartet of famous French rejuvenators Matisse, Braque, Monet, and Duchamp, all creatively producing well into their 80s, while over in England, one of their most revered sculptors, Henry Moore, didnt give up the art of living artfully until he was 88. Or how about the famous painter Grandma Moses, who didnt even begin painting until she was 79 and then she went on to live a healthily active 100 years.
As again and again we find evidence that creativity and its appreciation (coupled with a lack of self abuse) enables people to live longer, fuller, more vibrant lives, activating that aspect of the mind which we are coming to know as the tissue-renewing, electrogenic center designed to trigger cell revival. And of course its ludicrous to think that anyone can get too old to experiment with creative mind/body renewal, which would be like telling a mid-80s Michelangelo, Picasso or Georgia OKeeffe: Ah, put those brushes down, youre too old for that!
There is only one realm in which inner and outer may still be fused, and that is the realm of art, said Henry Miller. And the more we realize that were all artists, all creators in some way, the more we appreciate how creativity influences us, and thereby we become more open to its therapeutic power. In other words, its not a special talent that activates creative flashes in the mind, but its an appreciation for lifes depth and beauty via various modes of artistic expression which spurs positive physical changes.
And with that helpful truism in mind, Ill wrap up this section of the Perpetual Youth Pie by wishing my readers a happily creative rebirthday, and as always happy rejuvenating!
For the whole self-renewal story, Jesse Dawns 258-page book, Never Old (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and winner of the National Association of Independent Publishers Award for Content), can be received free of charge, simply by purchasing his new book, The Rejuvenators Bible: Working Ways to Create Perpetual Youth Naturally (237 pages) for the retail price of $15. To receive both books for the price of one, simply call World Changing Books toll-free at (800) 736-3922 and order with a VISA or MC. Or send a check payable to World Changing Books, address: POB 5491, Hilo, HI 96720. ($15 includes books plus free, 1st class/rapid delivery postage)
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