Monday, January 11, 2010

Why not?

You see things: and say "Why?" But I dream things that never were: and say "Why not?"

So wrote George Bernard Shaw in Back to Methuselah. This vegetarian who was still writing plays into his 90s, is an example of an aging person who did not lost his powers as he aged.

By the way, speaking of playwrights who don't lose their power, I wrote a couple posts back that Sophocles wrote Oedipus Rex in his 70s. He wrote Oedipus at Colonus at 92. Perhaps not as perfect but who's to quibble?

I"m reading a second book by Gene Cohen, The Creative Age. He gives one example after another of people in many fields who achieved much after age sixty. And he wages the battle against the stereotypes of deterioration and old age being synonymous. John F. Kennedy who, unfortunately, did not live to an old age, nevertheless did not believe in stereotypes. He said, "The great enemy of truth is very often not the lies -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."

I am going to spend all of tomorrow listening to people over 55, the majority over 65, reading from and discussing their literary works, fiction,nonfiction, poetry. I expect an interesting day.

4 comments:

Kass said...

And I expect to hear about it, hopefully.

Marie aka Grams said...

And I'm going out to buy that book. Sounds like one I'd love.

Conda V. Douglas said...

As soon as we generalize, there's nothing but exceptions. I have young adult nieces who prove this at the other end of the age spectrum.

standing on my head said...

i'm seconding what both kass and marie said. my yoga classes are composed mostly of folks over 55, up to 89. i'm thinking they'd be interested in both the books you mention.