We are born and die within a particular epoch and within that era we may affect, through small or grand acts of courage, whatever changes we can upon this pitiful planet. Maybe to the young ones, I simply want to say, "Work tirelessly when your bodies do not yet ache at night. Do not waste your lives, your good health, strong bones, and resilient muscles.
Moraga, "From Inside the First World: Western psychology has avoided looking at the range of the whole cycle. As our world-image is a one-way street to never ending progress interrupted only by small and big catastrophes, our lives are to be one-way streets to success — and sudden oblivion. Erikson, "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations," Insight and Responsibility , Old age is a lot of crossed off names in an address book.
Later he played my father and finally he played my husband. If he had lived I'm sure I would have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older. But mourn the inward wreck we feel As hoary years depart, And Time's effacing fingers steal Young feelings from the heart! Did I not use to sing at morn? Had I not gladness to greet the day? Where did I lay them down, and is it too far to go back?
I am drained dry by the huge, blood-sucking tentacles of being, but I shall yet be restored to the font of the juices of life. I have a right to be watered abundantly. I have a right to be green and living. XXI," A Soul's Faring , You spend the first two-thirds of your life asking to be left alone and the last third not having to ask.
Does the clamoring sky find friend in me? I come heavy, like barnacled ships. No longer lithe and light, but with the sediment of life set in I will leave it there where it pulled me down, the heavy accretion of the years. I will renew the instinct that once would have soared, that would have winged its way to the sky The iron woman shall be returned to the filigree silver I am an antidote even to myself.
LXVII," A Soul's Faring , Age is like the newest version of a software — it has a bunch of great new features but you lost all the cool features the original version had. Hey, my hairline is in recession, my waistline is in inflation. Altogether, I'm in a depression.
That is all society can stand. I want to go back home. It is called hunting for your spectacles. Bailey Saunders, Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving. It hit me from the rear.
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But you can wind it up again. Do I mourn that,—rent and weatherbeaten,—I lie a dingy wreck upon a stagnant shore? A Diary , It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are. Michel in The Leaf The years pile up and hide under a new exterior, as completely as if emerging into another state of being. It is heavy and seamed with living, like soil with the marks of the share.
It has the look of much bringing forth, the mother-look of much brooding and attendant care. It is no longer youth with the maiden look in its eyes — it is maturity bearing its pack. LXVI," A Soul's Faring , The answer to old age is to keep one's mind busy and to go on with one's life as if it were interminable. I always admired Chekhov for building a new house when he was dying of tuberculosis. It has its own rhythm and beat, its internal cycles of growth and decay. It begins with innocent childhood, followed by awkward adolescence trying awkwardly to adapt itself to mature society, with its young passions and follies, its ideals and ambitions; then it reaches a manhood of intense activities, profiting from experience and learning more about society and human nature; at middle age, there is a slight easing of tension, a mellowing of character like the ripening of fruit or the mellowing of good wine, and the gradual acquiring of a more tolerant, more cynical and at the same time a kindlier view of life; then in the sunset of our life, the endocrine glands decrease their activity, and if we have a true philosophy of old age and have ordered our life pattern according to it, it is for us the age of peace and security and leisure and contentment; finally, life flickers out and one goes into eternal sleep, never to wake up again.
One should be able to sense the beauty of this rhythm of life, to appreciate, as we do in grand symphonies, its main theme, its strains of conflict and the final resolution. There is no good or bad in life, except what is good according to its own season.
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And if we take this biological view of life and try to live according to the seasons, no one but a conceited fool or an impossible idealist can deny that human life can be lived like a poem. We might as well wish to grasp the rainbow! If the chief feature of the earlier half of life is a never-satisfied longing after happiness, the later half is characterised by the dread of misfortune.
Accordingly, in later years, we, or, at least, the more prudent amongst us, are more intent upon eliminating what is painful from our lives and making our position security, than on the pursuit of positive pleasure.
I may observe, by the way, that in old age we are better able to prevent misfortunes from coming, and in youth better able to bear them when they come. Bailey Saunders, It takes a long time to become young. But it is painfully obvious in this age of artificial life, if not of dissipation and debauchery, the great majority of people are born with organizations incapable of manifesting the phenomena of life for more than sixty or seventy years. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine , October The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer.
Brooks, "Hospital," I am old enough to see how little I have done in so much time, and how much I have to do in so little. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age. Bailey Saunders, The wings of time unfurl from a child, lift him from murky waters and soar him over mountain tops, to cradle an old man's soul. We dwell upon this the more, because we notice that too many of the tendencies of American city life so destroy the chances for this middle and old perfection, that it seems to have gone out of mind. No one seems to understand that there is attainable a high flush condition of stamina, strength, vigor, personality, clearness and manly beauty and love-power, thoroughly sustained many years, in perfect specimens of trained health, through middle and old age, towering in its ripeness and completeness, till it rivals and fully equals the best and handsomest specimens of early manhood — and indeed transcends them!
Middle age is when you are forced to. There are those who feel verified in a numerous and vigorous progeny. But they, too, eventually join the over-aged who are reduced to a narrowing space-time, in which only a few things, in their self-contained form, offer a last but firm whisper of confirmation. Erikson, "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations," Insight and Responsibility , To the loved ones with snowy crowns, I bequeath the happiness of old age, the love and gratitude of their children until they fall asleep.
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Nor, indeed, are we to give our attention solely to the body; much greater care is due to the mind and soul; for they, too, like lamps, grow dim with time, unless we keep them supplied with oil. Puberty arrives at twice seven — Full stature at three times seven — The perfection of growth at four times seven — The greatest vigour of body and mind at five times seven — The commencement of partial decay at six times seven — General decay and decrease of energy, at seven times seven — Arrival of old age at eight times seven — And the grand climacteric of the ancients at nine times seven — The doctrine of septenniads, or septennial phases of life, is actually a much older concept — Hippocrates and earlier — but thus far the best I've found for quoting is this version.
Still working on it, though. At first the infant, then the whining school-boy, then the lover, then a soldier, and then the justice, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws. The sixth age, with spectacles on nose and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion. The qualities of each of the ages are those which are naturally proper to the planet compared with it.
For up to about the fourth year, the moon takes over the age of infancy: In the following ten years of childhood, Mercury begins to articulate and fashion the intelligent and logical part of the soul, to implant certain seeds and rudiments of learning, and to bring to light individual peculiarities of character and faculties, awakening the soul. Venus, taking charge in the third age, that of youth, for the next eight years, begins to inspire an impulse toward the embrace of love.
A kind of frenzy enters the soul, desire for any chance sexual gratification, burning passion, guile, and the blindness of the impetuous lover.
Age Difference Quotes (39 quotes)
The lord of the middle sphere, the sun, takes over the fourth age, which is the middle one in order, young manhood, for the period of nineteen years, wherein he implants in the soul at length the mastery and direction of its actions, desire for substance, glory, and position, and a change from playful, ingenuous error to seriousness, decorum, and ambition. Mars, fifth in order, assumes command of manhood for the space of fifteen years. He introduces severity and misery into life, and implants cares and troubles in the soul and in the body, giving it, as it were, some sense and notion of passing its prime and urging it, before it approaches its end, by labor to accomplish something among its undertakings that is worthy of note.
Jupiter, taking as his lot the elderly age, for twelve years, brings about the renunciation of manual labor, toil, turmoil, and dangerous activity, and in their place brings decorum, foresight, retirement, together with all-embracing deliberation, admonition, and consolation; he brings men to set store by honor, praise, and independence, accompanied by modesty and dignity. Finally to Saturn falls as his lot old age, which lasts for the rest of life. Now the movements both of body and of soul are cooled and impeded in their impulses, enjoyments, desires, and speed; for the natural decline supervenes upon life.
Ptolemy is said to have drawn from even earlier sources for his astrologer's view of the stages of life. The italicized ages are my loose approximations based on his descriptions; specific ages are not directly expressed in the original work so the reader is forced to perform somewhat ambiguous arithmetic. Every source I've seen that attempts specifics comes up with slightly different numbers.
Alas, life stages are never concrete down to the year anyway, so just as well, I say. At age 12, success is having friends. At age 16, success is having a driver's license. At age 20, success is having sex. At age 35, success is having money. At age 50, success is having money. At age 60, success is having sex. At age 70, success is having a driver's license.
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