I’m not certain who the man in the photograph is, or the context of the picture. Nevertheless an elderly man is working with clear devotion which signals a time when work was seen as an expression of who one is. And that devotion involved his gifts, lasting interest, and usefulness for others, the opposite of isolation and depression. True artisans, for whom work is vocation, seldom want to retire. How does one retire from one’s own gifts for others?

I always wished I could draw and paint. I would want to paint pictures with devotion into deep old age, for birthdays and other celebrations, important life events, tokens of surprise appreciation for this one or that.

Time need never be empty for an artist of any kind. So the only question that remains —and it sometimes comes late in life—is What art can I discover within myself for others today?

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