Proof That Art Keeps Us Young

I wish I could point to one of those complex Atlantic magazine stories, the ones that cross-reference and quote assured experts, the stories that lead its reader to stare off in the distance mid-point, eyes searching past the whitewashed walls to a magical world long untraveled, as the logic of the world rearranges itself.

I have no Atlantic article. I have nothing to link. I haven’t even tried to look. I know what I’ve seen.

Just this week, I ran into a creator who’s been actively producing and teaching for the last fifty years.

While we talk, I don’t hear the words she says as much as follow the twinkle in her eye and the soft, warm, brightness of its irises. My own pupils note the gesticulation of her hands as she describes how she and another student were “vibing”, and my body generates energy from the unrelenting force bubbling within her.

My Gd, I surmise as watch her, even after the heavy hammer blow of making a living and raising responsible kids took its toll, she kept on stoking that inner creative fire that so many of us leave for another day, waiting for when the sun and moon line up just right. The fire must’ve held her up as much as she held up it.

If I offered substantiated graphical proof of the connection between creating art and longevity, perhaps people would flock to the canvas as the sensible and responsible thing to do.

Those who fight to make art without scientific validation, disregarding sensibility yet loving their souls regardless, give their insides space to breathe- the greatest kind of self-love.

I see the results in the eyes and breath of each artist I meet who has fought for their soul in this way.

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I imagine Gd in Heaven salutes those weary-yet-emboldened artists that cross His Gates, thanking them for taking such care of the passionate, needy, inner wellsprings he entrusted to them.

The Atlantic-level proof is not here, on this page. But in the warm, soft, resilient eyes and defiant demeanor of an active creator, is everything I need to know.

This piece is dedicated to the mighty Chaya Pellin, may she continue to spread great art and inspiration.

Photo by Eddy Klaus on Unsplash