from the old with the young

This is what I read this morning on my Yahoo feed:

Why It’s So Important To Think Of Age As A Gift

which led me to this article by Phyllis Sues. I’m leaving the headline large because it should be and it is. Here’s just a tidbit:

If you think of age as a gift you will understand what to do with it. How to love it, to use it, to appreciate it. You will be creative in every physical and mental even spiritual way.

Yes, please read the whole article.

Of course, that led me to look up more about this amazing woman, identified as “dancer and musician”, and that really made me amazed. Learning from the Learned, indeed!

On her website, it states:

Phyllis Sues’ active lifestyle at 90 includes; Tango, jump rope, tennis, yoga, trapeze and hiking.
Phyllis exercises daily and dances the tango with her partner Felix Chavez (79). Dancing the tango inspired Phyllis to produce and compose six beautiful tangos and she released her CD, “Tango Insomnia” in 2009.

Yes, she wrote and performed the music.

Are you impressed as much as I am? But I must admit I feel better knowing that she couldn’t play and dance at the same time, don’t you?

But this wasn’t the first thing that blew me away today. Earlier, I saw a bit on the Today Show about a boy, an 11-year old boy named Joey Alexander. Don’t call him a jazz prodigy, he says. But do call him a  jazz musician.

The NY Times writes:

He clearly loves and respects his art form. “Jazz is a hard music,” he said in response to a question about heightened expectations, “and you have to really work hard and also have fun performing; that’s the most important thing.”

…Joey began playing piano at 6, picking out a Thelonious Monk tune by ear, which led Mr. Sila [his father], an amateur pianist, to teach him some fundamentals.

Seriously, how many 11 year-olds know who Thelonius Monk is, much less 6 year-olds?


Again from the NY Times:

For all his exceptional talent, Joey is a prime candidate for similar counsel. Asked at one point to recall treasured advice from a jazz elder, he was momentarily at a loss for words. “You know,” he said finally, his eyes lighting up, “one thing people always say to me: ‘Keep playing.’”

And this is what I realize. Let us praise G-d;

(from Psalms Chapter 148 תְּהִלִּים)

יב  בַּחוּרִים וְגַם-בְּתוּלוֹת;    זְקֵנִים, עִם-נְעָרִים. 12 Both young men and maidens, old men and children;

I’ll keep learning as long as I can, and continue to be amazed. And praise with gratitude in whatever way I can.

And yes, keep playing.


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