On a morning when I sit, all fuzzy-brained, clutching my coffee cup there on the red couch taking in the morning’s news, I hear this:
“Creativity can increase with age and help you live longer.”
My 60-year-old ears perk up and my brain cells tingle. What did he say?
I set down the cup, suddenly wide awake.
Scientist Jeffrey Kluger, a guest on this TV morning news show, is enthusiastically sharing the good news:
“The very deterioration that we think about defining the brain actually enhances creativity. As you age, the walls (in your brain) break down. It’s no longer language in the left hemisphere and art in the right. There is a free flow of information back and forth.”
Really? He continues……
“Wisdom is a bi-product of creativity. What is wisdom but creative thinking? It’s the synthesis of information.”
The news anchor mentions Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo Picasso, Galileo, all of whom did some of their best work in their 80s. I think of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was 64 when she published “Little House on the Prairie.”
My husband’s Grandma Eva also comes to mind. Well into her 90s, after recovering from an illness that nearly took her life, Grandma put down her crochet hooks and picked up canvas and paint brush. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have samples of her late-in-life creativity hanging on their walls.
And then there’s my dad who, at 85 and with failing eyesight, has taken to building and painting birdhouses. Always a creative soul, dad has found a new artistic outlet. An exterior wall of his little wood shop has a dozen birdhouse screwed to the side, available for the taking by anyone who fancies them.
So, it’s not too late for me?
All the creative writing I had hoped to do when I was a young newspaper reporter and the stories I longed to share while I was busy raising those four boys — maybe now is the time, perhaps even the “prime time”, to put pen to paper.
And why should I be so surprised? Who, after all, is the creator of our creativity? Who designed man to be the designer of the Egyptian pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, “Gone with the Wind”, “Fur Elise”, the Mona Lisa.
And who am I to put a time limit on the exercising of my God-given creative muscles.
After all, I concur with King David, who said:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
I am His handiwork and it’s entirely possible that the best is yet to come.
So, if those brain cells still collide and ignite creativity at 60, 70, 80, can they not also inspire me to get off that red couch and open my mind to discovering new ways to glorify my Maker with the fruits of my giftedness?
One of my favorite contemporary authors, Nancy Nordenson, says this in her book “Just Think”:
“The engaged mind wants to imitate the elegance of his mind, to study his creation, to please him in its use. It seeks the habits of mind that Jesus emulated — study and teaching, the use of questions, metaphor, and story; the knowledge of history, Scripture, and culture….”
“But we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:16
What a gift!