One of the most prevalent of the beliefs about aging is that creativity declines for writers and artists as they grow older. To some extent that is true, but there are lots of exceptions.
Our friend Murna Downs was visiting from England and we took her to one of our favorite places in Pennsylvania, Fallingwater, which is a house designed by the great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. We have been there several times, but Murna did not know about the house and had never seen a photo of it, so seeing it with her helped us view it in a fresh way. As we walked down the wooded path from the Visitors Center, and the house emerged from the trees, its beauty took our breath away. In our tour through the house, we saw features that we had not noticed before, in particular the way the design inside led your eyes past the walls to the outdoors. House, trees, mountain and water formed one organic whole. It is a great work of art and maybe the most beautiful house we have ever seen.
Wright was in his late 60’s when he designed it. In fact, the story is that he sketched out the design in under two hours. Too old indeed! If you have not visited Fallingwater in person, it is well worth a trip.
One of the gifts of retirement is gaining a new perspective on time. We have time for excursions like the trip to Fallingwater. Instead of rushing around to get things done, we can slow down and savor time. We don’t have to meet anyone else’s schedule, at least not most of the time. I have been thoroughly caught up in watching the baseball playoffs, and do not have to worry that I am neglecting work that needs to be done. Cubs versus Dodgers in the National League Championship Series raises a rift in the family—Ben an ardent Cub fan as well as many other of my Chicago relatives, Matt and Tom as lifelong Dodger fans. I think I’ll sit back, have a beer (or a chardonnay if I want to blend in with the Dodger faithful), and see how it turns out.