the view at 65 is worth it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Creativity as antidote or complement to academics"

Over the many years I have counseled and mentored individuals, I have often said, “find something creative to do.” If the complexities and challenges of life overwhelm you, creativity is an abundant source of relief. With just over two years of graduate research and study completed, and the prospect of a Doctoral continuum, I face these same complexities and challenges in academia. Even though I find solace in my artwork and studio, academic pursuits have meant a sabbatical of sorts from studio time. However, it is to creative writing I turn to refresh and regroup for the next university assignment. My faithful companion has been Cerulean, the principal character of my epic poem which I began in 2004. Cerulean, the long distance voyager, is now on his 8th journey. In addition, I keep a running chronicle of wherever I find myself in my latest novel, should a plot development emerge. All of it, a bit at the time, but enough to be the antidote when academic pressures overwhelm me, or a complement when I want to add colour to my academic writing. Some people dance, sing, play music, read books, or cook, others tend a beautiful garden, some engage a satisfying hobby, others collect memorabilia. Whatever creative endeavour you engage, “finding something creative to do,” is good medicine for the human spirit.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Dr.Gerrit I presume?"

Yes, it's official. I have been accepted into the Doctoral Program at St.Stephen's College at the University of Alberta, where I plan to undertake research as a continuum of my master's degree, with a broad scope of "The Intersection of Art, Critical Thought, and the Kingdom of God." If going back to school at 65 was a rollercoaster ride of scholarly pursuits, with plenty of ups and downs (metaphor intended), then 2012 at age 67, will be a trip into space and back. If you can stay with me as I expand my adventure of faith, I will do my best to continue to be an encouragement to whoever wishes to be inspired by my journey. Over the past 2 1/2 years, many have shown their support for going back to school and I truly appreciate everyone whose kind words of encouragement kept me going. Of course you don't have to call me Dr. Gerrit. Just Gerrit will be fine. Imagine, graduation at age 70. And many thanks to my wife Alice.

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