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Creativity is at All Ages

By Editor Turkey

Our citizens over the age of 65 were the most affected by the restrictions during the pandemic period. Since they were in the risky group, they could not leave their homes for months. With the new normal, the restrictions were lifted, but with the increase in the cases, various restrictions began to be applied again in many provinces. In some provinces, it is forbidden to attend weddings and engagements, in others they go to shopping malls… However, staying at home or a nursing home should not hinder creativity or enthusiasm for life. Our dear elder Mehmet Nursan Mor has been living in Kastamonu for a while. He is an elderly person over the age of 60 who has never lost his enthusiasm and creativity in life. He lives with an enthusiasm and sense of humor that should set an example for all of us. Here is the story of our creative elder…

I was born in Kadıköy Acıbadem district in 1950. I grew up in a large garden, full of trees, berries and fruits. In this respect, I have always considered myself lucky. My love for nature started there. And all around us there were large large gardens with trees, and in our neighborhood there were sparsely spaced old wooden houses, a wonderfully beautiful nature. My youth and childhood passed there. My main profession should have been a musician, because when I took my first instrument at the age of ten, I started playing immediately. 1960 is my first start. But after that, I tested myself with different jobs and manual dexterity. There were areas where I was very successful. One of them was painting. When I returned from abroad, after a while, after working as a professional musician, I took a break from music related works, sailed on the ship, and my sea life began. I worked in the machinery department and worked as a carpenter for 38 years.

One of the portraits drawn by Mehmet Nursan Mor

My first interest in art started when I was 10 years old. I had even started to take an interest in painting without realizing it. After that, I started playing the saz professionally. As I received other instruments, I continued to play them with great success and skill. But the main focus was mainly on the saz. I also had professional studies on instrumental music in Germany.

I will never forget, my brother gave me the saz one day and said, “Play it, if you can’t play it, I will hide this saz and never give you back”. I played the song that I played the best. When I played it, he smiled and said ok, then he said play it with a plectrum. I was playing illegally with a razor. It was forbidden then, I was hiding it. Nobody taught me to play the saz, I learned it on my own. Afterwards, I was about 14-15 years old when I started in the choir of the Orhan Dağlı saz team at the public education center.

Mehmet Nursan Mor playing in the saz team

 In primary school, teachers noticed my talent for painting. In fact, my teacher, the late Kamile Hanım, who I will never forget, said to my mother, “Definitely make this child study fine arts, because he has a tremendous talent for painting. We make him draw enormous paintings.” Indeed, they had made me very complex oil paintings and exhibited in certain places. In some period of my life I also started to painting as an amateur. I did oil painting and pencil drawings. I also wrote lyrics and composed compositions. Although I struggled to deliver these to the target audience, because I needed some environment in that sector for that, and I could not achieve it.

Abidin Kısakürek, our literature teacher, always gave me very high grades in those composition assignments. I used to think a lot while writing a composition, but then all of a sudden I was writing all the time. I had a very fluent pencil. But I did not concentrate much on this area. In fact, I guess I didn’t dwell on it too much. But this came up in my lyrics essays years later. I still have beautiful lyrics and poems that I keep. There have been many lines that I have sung frequently, such as songs, by rhyming certain measures, especially in order to keep important things in my mind.

Some of the poems written by Mehmet Nursan Mor

The pandemic actually affected me in a very positive way, because for me, being alone and being bored indoors were not situations that I was uncomfortable with. I was buried in my own preoccupations. At some point during the pandemic period, I started to prepare my own puzzles. This is a field where comparison techniques and practical intelligence are at the forefront rather than vocabulary knowledge to prepare puzzles. Even if we do not have a perfect vocabulary, you can achieve this with daily language and small supplements. Staying at home has enabled me to do more creative activities. There is a phrase in the Turks called ‘to make a situation out of the situation’, and that’s what I’ve accomplished. Taking advantage of opportunities is sometimes easier because it comes from within. Maybe it can be with  forcing, but it’s also a matter of personality.

A sample of the songs written by our creative elder and the puzzle

We used to play a game with my youngest daughter, Hatice, when she was a child. I used to build little houses for her. She would also be very happy, she would play for hours with them. Years later, in my old age, I had the opportunity to turn those models into reality and build a wooden house. It took a while, especially since I was able to capture a nostalgic image and give importance to visuality, I made it from wood, which made my job even more difficult. I even added the stone oven.

One of the model houses he built for his daughter to play with

It is more correct to call old age, decrepitude. I believe that everyone has something they love to do. I would certainly suggest that they find it and engage it. As long as they make an effort, they will surely produce something. Maybe there are few things in the world that make people happy as much as producing and seeing their own work. Today, I recommend this to all our elderly people who are closed to their homes and nursing homes due to the pandemic.

Boat models made with his own hands

My advice to young people is to live without breaking anyone’s heart. Try to find their passion and strive with what they love. For years, I tried but  I couldn’t be successful in a job I didn’t like. I’ve seen this in marine life for years, and I still have no intention of looking at the sea seriously. I don’t even want to see it, it was so hard for me. It is so difficult to achieve success from a difficult job.. Let them do everything with love.

Mehmet Nursan Mor

Translated from interview to article by Hatice Şeyda Gözüdeli