aging - aging
2 - youth
If wrinkles must be
our brows, let them not
heart. The spirit
should not grow old.
James A. Garfield
and content are great beautifiers,
and are famous
preservers of youthful looks.
riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the
goal. There is
a little finishing canter before coming to
a standstill. There is time to hear
the kind voice of
friends and to say to one's self: "The work is done."
But just as one says that, the answer comes: "The
race is over,
but the work never is done while the power
to work remains." The canter that brings you to a
standstill need not be only coming to a rest. It cannot
be, while you still live. For to live is to function. That is all there is in living.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
age should be tranquil, as childhood should be playful. Hard
work at either extremity of life seems out of place. At midday
the sun may burn, and people labor under it;
but the morning and
evening should be alike calm and cheerful.
|I think we exaggerate the
and freshness of young people. Advanced
age can be
conducive to conceptual
that are extraordinarily important. -Ross Webber
planted a maple tree next to the first house I owned, just a skinny
of a thing. . . .
It seemed far off in the future before that tree would
anything. But when
I went back there forty years later, I
couldn't believe my
eyes. The tree was towering
over the house, the
queen of the neighborhood. In the meantime, I'd
become an old
This was the first time
I ever really believed
that the world will go on
when I'm gone. . . . Ever since
I've been living
in tree time. It's a fine way to live.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth.
of its bringing
sad and melancholy prospects of decay,
it would give
us hopes of eternal youth
in a better world.
resist the frigidity of old age,
one must combine the body,
and the heart. And to
keep these in parallel
must exercise, study, and
Charles-Victor de Bonstettin
yet I look at men and women my age and older, and their scalps
knuckles and spots and bulges, though various and interesting,
affect what I think of them. Some of these people I consider to
very beautiful, and others I donít. For old people, beauty doesnít
come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young. It has
do with bones. It has to do with who the person is. More and more
clearly it has to do with what shines through those gnarly faces and
Ursula K. LeGuin
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in old age we understand.
age has a great sense of calm and freedom.
When the passions have relaxed their hold,
you have escaped not from one master but from many.
century of living should put a good deal into a person's face
a few wrinkles and some unwelcome folds around the chin.
German author Hermann Hesse writes that the more one
matures, the younger one grows. Certainly there are many
people who as they age become increasingly vigorous and
energetic, more broad-minded and tolerant, living with a
sense of freedom and assurance. It is important to
that aging and growing old are not necessarily the same thing.
Day by Day
love deeply never grow old;
they may die of old age,
but they die
Old people are
always young enough
to learn, with profit.
does not depend upon years, but upon
health. Some people
are born old, and some never grow so.
aging 2 - youth
intend to go on with my life by living it, not by
into some notion that I no longer have the
become still better. I refuse to
take seriously society's
idea that at the arbitrary
age of 65 I am
suddenly a lamp going out.
advantage of age is learning to accept people without
secret of remaining young in spite of years, and even of grey
is to cherish enthusiasm in oneself, by poetry, by
contemplation, by charity,--
that is, in fewer words, by the
maintenance of harmony in the soul. When
everything is in
its right place within us, we ourselves are in equilibrium
the whole work of God. Deep and grave enthusiasm for the
and the eternal order, reason touched with emotion
and a serene tenderness
of heart--these surely are the foundations
then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and
anonymous. No one
notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It
is a positive thing.
You can move about, unnoticed and invisible.
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Those who are of a calm and happy nature
will hardly feel the pressure of age.
am old, yet I look at wise men and see that I am very young.
I look over those stars yonder, and into the myriads of the
aspirant and ordered souls, and see I am a stranger and a
and have yet my spurs to win. Too ridiculous are these
airs of age.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
The nearer I approach the end, the plainer I hear around me
the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me. . . .
For half a century I have been writing thoughts in prose,
verse, history, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, and
I have tried them all, but I feel I have not said a
of that which is within me. When I go down to the
I can say "I have finished my day's work,"
but I cannot say "I have finished my life's work."
aging 2 - youth
good old age can be the crown of all our life's experiences,
masterwork of a lifetime. Behind us are years of
that developed us, changed us--and the
the better or the
worse. We know in our inner selves
had been and to what goal they have led.
doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing
does--except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age.
But only if
the grapes were good in the first place.
not grow old, no matter how long you live.
Never cease to stand like curious children
before the Great Mystery into which we are born.
|The primitive, physical, functional
pattern of the morning of life, the active years
before forty or fifty, is outlived. But there is
still the afternoon opening up, which one can spend
not in the feverish pace of the morning but in having
time at last for those intellectual, cultural, and
spiritual activities that were pushed aside in the
heat of the race. We Americans, with our
terrific emphasis on youth, action, and material
success, certainly tend to belittle the afternoon of
life and even pretend that it never comes. We
push the clock back and try to prolong the morning,
overreaching and overstraining ourselves in the
unnatural effort. We do not succeed, of
course. We cannot compete with our sons and
daughters. And what a struggle it is to race
with these overactive and under-wise adults! In
our breathless attempts we often miss the flowering
that waits for afternoon.
For is it not possible that middle age can be looked
upon as a period of second flowering, second growth,
even a kind of second adolescence? It is true
that society in general does not help one accept this
interpretation of the second half of life. And
therefore this period of expanding is often tragically
misunderstood. Many people never climb above the
plateau of forty-to-fifty. The signs that
presage growth, so similar, it seems to me, to those
in early adolescence: discontent, restlessness,
doubt, despair, longing, and interpreted falsely as
signs of decay. In youth one does not as often
misinterpret the signs; one accepts them, quite
rightly, as growing pains. One takes them
seriously, listens to them, follows where they
lead. One is afraid. Naturally. Who
is not afraid of pure space--that breath-taking empty
space of an open door? But despite fear, one
goes through to the room beyond.
But in middle age, because of the false assumption
that it is a period of decline, one interprets
these life-signs, paradoxically, as signs of
approaching death. Instead of facing them, one
runs away; one escapes--into depressions, nervous
breakdowns, drink, love affairs, or frantic,
thoughtless, fruitless overwork. Anything,
rather than face them. Anything, rather than
stand still and learn from them. One tries to
cure the signs of growth, to exorcise them, as if they
were devils, when really they might be angels of
Angels of annunciation of what? Of a new stage
in living when, having shed many of the physical
struggles, the worldly ambitions, the material
encumbrances of active life, one might be free to
fulfill the neglected side of one's self. One
might be free for growth of mind, heart, and talent;
free at last for spiritual growth; free of the
clamping sunrise shell. Beautiful as it was, it
was still a closed world one had to outgrow.
from the Sea
|As for old age, embrace and love it.
It abounds with pleasure if
you know how to use it. The gradually declining years are among
the sweetest in a person's life, and I maintain that, even when they
have reached the extreme limit, they have their pleasure still.