The Mind of Aging

“The Mind of Aging” panel and assemblage by Dianne Swan

When Fred suggested I write a piece for 2nd Tuesday about “aging and the mind,” I immediately thought of two ways to look at the subject: The Mind of Aging or The Aging Mind.

Many years ago, I took a writing class at Marylhurst College.  It was taught by one of the Sisters Based on “The Natural Way of Writing” by Gabrielle Lesser Ricu, you write your intended subject in the center of a blank page of paper, circle it, and then free your mind. You then write what comes to mind in a random fashion (this is called clusters) around the area of your subject.

Some words will open your mind to others and actually seem connected.

This is a fun exercise as you will be surprised at the words that come to you.

You then review all of the words.  In doing so a plan will come to mind and you have your assignment!

In my eight decades of living on this planet, I have experienced the aging of my mind and also observed the mind of aging.  Though they sound the same they are very different.

Using the exercise described above, the mind of aging suggests a wise, orderly, overview of the aged mind.  The aging mind suggests a slowing of senses, searching for words; memory loss.

Combining the two avenues of thought actually brings a melding of mind and age, and embraces the wonderment and memories of both mind and age.

I challenge readers of 2nd Tuesday to add this exercise to your creative routine.  You will be surprised what springs forward from your ageless minds.

“The Mind of Aging” Panel and assemblage by Dianne Swan

2 Responses

  1. Diane, thanks for the writing exercise. It seems I often start to write the way you suggest with the aid of my computer, and have done so since I became a computer user in 1985. Copy and paste are my great friends. To my husband’s chagrin, I am not a linear thinker at least in my process. In the end, the writing is cohesive and flows; but I could never start at the top and just continue to the end. It works for me.

    The lovely textile seems to have been using the same methodology, start in the center, then move above and below. As a fiber artist who often uses text, I thought that your using a textile with all its metaphors for connections amplified what you said and conversely, the article wove the visual with the verbal.

  2. Dianne Swan says:

    Bonnie, thank you so much for your kind words about my article and fabric piece. You actually clarified my intentions on this compilation better than I could!