Two men, two old men, entered stage right. They shuffled across the stage, the taller, his arm around the shoulder of the shorter. Both were bald. The shorter, obviously frail, wore comfort shoes that seemed to have velcro clasps. Both carried guitars.
They found centre stage each behind a microphone, each in front of a stool. Looking out at the audience, a full house, they silently took in the moment. Then they each began to speak, quickly, not together. Laughter filled the theatre. And then the music began just as it had done 60 years ago, guitars played exquisitely, voices clear and strong. We all were transported back to an earlier time.
Over all these years their message has been the same: inclusion, fairness, equality and civil rights. Always unapologetic they are as relevant today as they were in the 1960’s.
It was the Peter and Paul show but really it was a Peter, Paul and Mary performance. Although she passed away 9 years ago her presence was surely felt. The show was fabulous.
So what’s the point of my story? Peter, now 80 and Paul, not that much younger, have kept their creative drive burning for many, many years. How?
They believe in themselves, their art and the message it conveys. I think that is the basis of their drive and longevity. Total commitment serves to keep the ‘fire in the belly’ burning. It’s the same for all artists, I believe. ‘Likes’ or as some call them ‘digital hugs’ are not important. It’s about belief in one’s art and personal commitment to improvement. With those ideals firmly held age doesn’t matter.
The images above were made last week at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. It houses one of the largest collections of desert plants from around the world. It was a day well spent.