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Profiles in Active Aging – Pieter Van Deusen

Profiles in Active Aging - Pieter Van Deusen

As Pieter Van Deusen begins his 9th decade, he looks back with pride and pleasure and looks forward to the many unfinished projects he is currently working on.  He hopes that many people view him as an elderly gentleman, but knows that some may think of him as a silly old git!  No matter how any one person sees him, it is undeniable that he has led a rich life and continues to do so.

Pieter’s Early Years

Pieter studied painting at Marin College in California philosophy at UC Berkeley and filmmaking at USC. He learned how to make his own musical instruments and created musique concrete compositions. Musique concrete combines modified recorded sounds to create new musical pieces and is an early form of electronic music of today.  He also made short films with an educational film company. He married and had two boys.

1970s And Beyond

In 1969, Pieter met his partner, author Leah Miller.  They have collaborated on many films and books over the years, as well as working separately. They created educational films for Churchill Films and collaborated with Les Blank. In the 1980s, they moved from Northern California to England, where they continued to work together. One of their projects is a feature-length film called Netherby Naps. You can find links to some of their films on the Les Blank website. They also raised Leah’s two children, a boy and a girl.

Pieter and Leah made two films about aging. The Hundred Penny Box is about a young boy and his deep relationship with his great-great aunt. Roundabout is a fantasy story about a young boy’s experiences with an old man who owns a magical toy merry-go-round (or roundabout) and what happens when the toy is stolen.  In addition, Both Leah and Pieter have written books, separately and together. His books are available online. The books that Leah wrote and the books Pieter and Leah wrote together are also available at the same website.

Current And Future Projects

Pieter notices that he has slowed down since turning 80.  Everyday chores and, indeed everything, just take longer than they used to. However, he doesn’t allow this slowness to dim his hopes, progress, and enjoyment of life. He no longer had the energy or strength to complete a film so he is concentrating on writing.  He is looking forward to finishing a novel about filmmaking that he has been working on for many years. The first volume of this many-volume set of novels is called The Five Fleas Hotel, and many of his other books can be purchased at Blurb.

At the current moment, Pieter is resting to heal from a broken bone he sustained in a fall. As soon as he can sit up again, he’ll be finishing the novel.  He’s concerned with the weather and finds that he doesn’t like extremes in the temperature at all. He is uplifted by continuous contact and communication with Leah, emails with like-minded friends, and learning new things by doing internet searches.

Pieter Van Deusen is an active ager, continuing his life’s work at a slower pace, but with continued vitality.SeniorThrive! Is interested in hearing from other active agers.  What are you doing to stay active and engaged?

 

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