“I cain’t do much, but I can fish” A visit to Paulus.
It’s been a little over two years since we first showed ‘To Spring From the Hand’ for the first time and to celebrate Paulus’s 80th birthday. On a trip to LA from my home in Sydney, Australia I was able to make a very short but entirely sweet visit to see him this week at his home in Penland, North Carolina. Paulus suffered a mild stroke in Christmas 2012, and whilst he has recovered very well it has left him with less energy to do all that he likes to do. In his words he is now learning “the old man’s dance”. This is showing a growing acceptance of aging, which he says is “a full-time occupation”. In the mornings he sits on his zafu, doing a very internal chi gung/Alexander practice. He is then in his studio with clay or journal making (some new smaller ones shown below) and usually a walk to the much loved Post Office before lunch. The afternoons are for resting and errands. He still writes and receives many letters. Also visiting Paulus while I was there was poet Alison Luterman. I am half way into her vibrant new collection ‘Desire Zoo’ and highly recommend it.
Jessica Shaykett at the American Craft Council has written a very good review of the film. It would be a great help to us if you were able to share this on any blog or website you have. http://craftcouncil.org/post/paulus-berensohn-making-living-making-life.
The morning I had the conversation with Paulus about “The art of growing old” Alison and I walked along the North Toe river. We saw an elderly man sitting on a large rock in the middle of the river fishing. After a while he looked up to see us, a little startled. In a delicious Carolina accent he said to us: “You know these days, I cain’t do much, but I CAN fish”. And held up a bag with four sizable brown trout.
Seems like Paulus’s thoughts on aging are spreading already.