Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mature Creativity

Sophocles was 72 when he wrote Oedipus Rex. I recently came across references to Gene Gohen's books, The Mature Mind and The Creative Age. I broke my very long standing decision to avoid in favor of local books stores, -- at least they wouldn't be sending me emails about what I might also enjoy. But I am planning to teach a course called "Writing with the Whole Brain" and I feel I need to read The Mature Mind immediately. It and The Creative Age arrived today and I've read only the introduction so far.

I am immediately in love with a book that tells me the drama I consider the greatest ever written -- period. End of discussion. Jaw droppingly perfect -- was 72 when he wrote it. This is mature wisdom and skill!! I'm sure I will be blogging about other discoveries from these books. Cohen is a gerontologist who took up a challenge in a college course given by Eric Erickson -- find out more about the aging mind. Little was known and what people thought they knew was often wrong. The former direction was always to look at the deficits and not at the life-long accumulation of wisdom, plus the breakthrough to intellectual freedom -- often, they've now found, using both sides of the brain for tasks that younger people must do with only one side of the brain. Integration! Synergy! I shall be glued to my chair reading for the next several hours, well days, because I am a slow reader and an underliner too.


standing on my head said...

ah, whole brains, right up my alley!
brains don't fully mature, developmentally, until the mid-20s, and for males it can be later. i'm creating a course for the local seniors center, using brain gym, to look at all that we learn over time, and how it can be used as we age. the deficits are minimal compared to the wisdom. if you're interested, check out
the only limits we have are the ones we set for ourselves.

Kass said...

This is so encouraging to me to think that I can still be creative and have a highly functioning brain well into my 70's and 80's. These books look interesting. I've read, "Drawing On the Right Side Of The Brain" and "Brain Gym." I found them both very interesting. I look forward to learing more.

June Calender said...

I'd heard only a little about Brain Gym, went to their site, thanks to "Standing". I totally believe in movement. But the writing course I'll be teaching can't involve more than periods of calm breathing and a variety of sensory exercises that I hope will help them break out of the rules that say they can't write vividly about dull factual subjects.


Hi June, I'm interested in how you teach your writing class. I do hope you'll write a bit about your teaching techniques on a post someday. Or, as I am new to your blog, have you already wrote about your classes? -- barbara P. S. Plan to Inter-Library loan the books you mention in your post -- thanks for their mention.

standing on my head said...

june-i'd love to hear more about the sensory exercises you have in mind. i'd bet there's some crossover with brain gym. the basic brain gym exercises can all be done sitting down, and take very little time. they are designed to aid in just what you described-breaking out of our limiting beliefs about what's possible.
kass-which brain gym book did you read?

June Calender said...

I am considering starting a new blog to describe the classes. It's an adventure for me too, I haven't done this before, so some of it will be seat-of-the-pants depending on the class members [I'm hoping for at least five and won't do it for fewer]. At the moment I'm having small tinglings of cold feet. But if there are sign ups, I'll do it. I'm making notes daily.