The Art Of Artful Living And How Training Helps Us To Deal With Aging


Hi folks!

I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) the other day, where the life of Robert Frost was being discussed, and one of the ‘discussants’ stated that Robert Frost was of the opinion that we are all artists, and should live our lives as we see the world, not as others would want us to see it. I liked that idea, though I couldn’t find the source of this information. Instead, I found the following narrative at the Rod Jones Art Studio Blog:

“Poet Robert Frost said:

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.

My interpretation is:

I’m an artist and I recognize one when I see one. If you are one… you know.”

I like the blog, but this is a confusing statement to me. I am not sure that I could recognize a scientist necessarily as there is far too much mimicry in the living world for me to trust initial judgements. I suspect that we all see what we see in people through the warped view of our own personal projections, much of the time at least.

Having spent my life in science, with respect to childhood hobbies followed by a long and enjoyable career studying disease pathogenesis, I like to think that we are all artists and scientists. Each and every one of us in our own way! No one owns the patent on observing the world through whichever ‘lenses’ we prefer. Art has played as important a role in my career as did Science, formal training or no formal training in the former. I employed an artist for several years whilst working on nasal fluid mechanics, and this artist, Andy Fleishman, has become a good friend. I really respect his insightful view of life.

Here is a bridge Andy built:

But One Example Of Andy Fleishman's Wonderful Artwork!

I saw the slides that showed how this bridge was constructed – Art and Engineering par excellence! Andy and I even gave some lectures on the integration of Art with Science many years ago – now, that was fun, in addition to being a great compliment as far as I was concerned!

Another artist I admire is Bruce Lee, the martial artist. And an artist he was (though maybe not a great actor!). His writings, students and colleagues taught me a great deal about my abilities and limits, especially the training camp with his training partner,  Dan Inosanto (though this was much later than the linked movie clip, and his hair was much shorter when I met him). There are many interesting quotes ascribed to Bruce Lee. His philosophy of simplification is one that I try to apply to the art of living my life. I suspect that the two years I spent studying Jeet Kune Do continue to play an important role in my sporting and spiritual experiences. I also think that this training, which I had in my late 40s, has helped me to adjust to the changes that aging brings, with a generally positive attitude to events as they unfold. A parallel sentiment is echoed in a recent post by Rod Jones, with respect to the life of an artist. Interesting!

Thanks Andy and Bruce (and Rod!).

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. Thank you Kevin for adding me in.

    “I suspect that we all see what we see in people through the warped view of our own personal projections, much of the time at least.”

    This is quite brilliant quote you’ve created! I do believe that people telegraph the true essence of who they are…one just needs to have their own key set up working and paying attention to the signal. Most of us, rather we know it or not reveal our whole philosophies of life, but we’re often too wound up in our own “I” to engage in the “WE, the US & especially the YOU”. I remember reading Dale Carnegie & his famous quote stuck with me. “Tell me what gives a man his greatest pleasure and I will tell you his philosphy in life.”

    I guess one of the joys of life is to discover who we are…and to hunt out like minds that reinforce our own perceptions of who we WISH we were.

    Thanks Again – Rod

    • Hi Rod!

      Then there is the alternative approach, the road less traveled, where people of unlike minds (Andy was such a person for me!) seek us out and explain in words we understand (if we are lucky) that we are ‘full of shit,’ and have much to learn. We eventually listen with the help of life beating on our consciousness to wake us up, and then back to looking for like minds. We need both for a full life, I suspect.

      I enjoyed the movies, though I am no great fan of Bull Winkle (to which I was never exposed as a kid) and who is that crusty guy with the beard. A propos Bull Winkle, the roll of nostalgia in our life is also an interesting one, which I think comes with comfort zones that can yield great feelings and potentially lead to poor mate selection.

      I will continue to look at your material, which in some cases does remind me of things that I have seen down the microscope. Very beautiful, indeed!

      Much appreciated.


  2. Kevin, My name was born in vain & I welcome your insight & thoughts. Thank you for your kinds words. Looking forward to delving into your ruminations. Rod

  3. Rory Conolly says

    Cool post. Bruce Lee quotes are definitely worthwhile. I use his techniques to ride my bike faster than you.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.