Lighter With Age

I have a blotter on my desk, covered with a sheet of clear plastic under which I have placed family photographs, a calendar, cartoons, mementos, notes, and  postcards. Among these is a clipping from the New York Times, date unknown. It’s a quotation from the poet and novelist May Sarton. Today seemed like a good day to share it.

 Jan. 30, 1978

                                                        Lighter With Age

           Love, we still think, many of us, is for the young. But what do they really know about it? It is hard for them to differentiate between sexual passion and love itself, for instance.

            If the whole of  life is a  journey toward old age, then I believe it is also a journey toward love. And love may be as intense in old age as it was in youth, only it is different, set in a wider arc, and the more precious because the time we have to enjoy it is bound to be brief.

            Old age is not a fixed point, any more than sunrise or sunset or the ocean tide. At every instant the psyche is in flux: ‘And like a newborn spirit did he pass/Through the green evening quiet in the sun,’ as Keats put it.

             On the edge of old age myself, I sense we may be ‘newborn spirits’ at any moment, if we have courage. Old age is not an illness, it is a timeless ascent. As power diminishes, we grow toward more light.

Elizabeth Burns Cope (Aunt Bette)
Dancing toward the light…

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