I – Image

These are very short excerpts from Susan E. Schwartz & my recently published book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is SES, I am SS – my writings are italicized. Page numbers are given. This is from the chapter: Intimacy & Image.

SES: We face a quandary about where to find vibrant images of aging that we want to emulate or follow. These do not appear in the glossies, magazine covers or the Internet chatter. Rather we can be informed from the tales of the ancestors, the myths and stories of humankind, in all forms of culture, literature and art. These can show us the paths to honor and love and are guides along our journey in the search for whom we are. And, most assuredly, the images can appear in our dreams. pg 66.

SS: I flew down to Cape Town to meet 2 very dear and old friends from when we were in our 20’s.  …. We spoke of our changing attitudes and identities as we grow older, our loves and our likes, what brings us joy, our hurts and concerns, dreams fulfilled, those not, our sometimes envy of youth and their beauty. … We talked about aging as an initiation, a way of tying up loose ends and as a way of preparing for death. We are not immortal as we may have thought 40 years ago. pg 68

‘I don’t cover my face because I want to show my identity’.

Malala Yousafzai

18 Comments on AtoZ Blog Challenge I Image

  1. Aging as initiation… tying of loose ends and preparation for death… need to reflect a little more on this .. thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. There’s much to contemplate here Susan. I’m needing to think more about “aging as a way of tying up loose ends.”

    I’m not entirely sure it’s useful to look for vibrant images to emulate. I suspect that can easily turn into the same kind of comparison/judgement that does us such harm as we’re younger. Compassionate self-acceptance of where each one of us in this unfolding process seems a more gentle way to navigate.

    • Thanks Deborah – your comment is wise. There is that danger of comparison and emulation I agree whereas self-acceptance is healthy whichever one looks at it.

  3. Susan, I especially enjoyed your comment about aging being a way of tying up loose ends in preparation for the end of life. I also see us as flowers, young and vibrant, but then mature with a deeper beauty. I only wish I could have used what I know now, way back then, when I was young! Thanks for your intelligent posts.

    • If not now, when? is the question I ask myself Gwynn re tying up loose ends and attempting to put to rest things that are still troubling. What a lovely analogy about seeing us as flowers! The more beautiful because of the rich and fertile soil – aging – from which they emerge! Thank you for coming by …

  4. Hi Susan – good for Malala .. she is an inspiration. Aging just happens – that’s the challenging thing – to realise it is happening and to make sure we’ve done as much as possible to help everyone – family and friends. My image is pretty awful now – but as I don’t look at it (thankfully) I can quietly forget it … not quite true, but at the moment that’s the way it is … cheers Hilary


    • Well, that sounds as if you’re facing the challenges we all do Hilary. I sometimes get a fright if I see my reflection in a shop window and wonder who is that woman looking back at me? Thank you for coming by and cheers to you – Susan

  5. I like your reflections with your friends. “We are not immortal as we thought we were in our 20’s”. Isn’t that the truth. Inside I’m still 20 something; outside, not so much.

    • Hah – that makes me wonder what age I am inside. I’ve never thought of that. I hope I don’t have a sleepless night pondering this, full moon and all .. 🙂

  6. Aging is an initiation. I’d never thought of that, but you’re right. Is there an official club pin or a handshake I need to know?!

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