Saturday, March 26, 2011

o is for old

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) writer & human rights activist

it is so odd how relative the notion of old is.

today marks the seventh month anniversary of the death of my beloved dad - he died just a couple weeks past his 88th birthday. despite his rather advanced age and the challenges of multiple chronic health problems, overall, dad had a joie de vive that belied age and physical infirmities. the photo above I took just a month before dad's 88th birthday and death - dad might have been old, but the spark of life (and even mischief) still shone in his eyes.

it is a tragedy how youth obsessed our society is - one of the many casualties of this obsession is the oblivion that our society often creates for many of our old.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.


I never dared be radical when young For fear it would make me conservative when old.

Robert Frost (26 march 1874 -1963) poet

A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.
Abraham J. Heschel (1907 -1972) rabbi and professor

click here for a terrific article on aging and growing old.

old man, just has to be one of my all time favorite neil young songs -story has it that neil wrote the song for the caretaker of the broken arrow ranch which neil purchased in 1970. the song was released in 1972 both as a single and as a cut on the harvest album.


Reya Mellicker said...

You know I love this one, Kim. I always say that being old doesn't mean you're dead, just old! In aging, we have done nothing wrong, we just haven't died yet. I refuse to be ashamed of it.

BTW you were in my dream last night. Thanks for dropping by. x

Gary said...

I love the Hugo quote. I am somewhere between the two. Of course, this is a topic that is close to ALL of us. Time marches on and it is our attitudes towards the process of aging that makes us different. Thankfully I have not had any of those midlife crisis moments and physically I have no age related aliments. I suppose the key is to accept the changes and remain young at heart.

girlfriendsuz said...

Sweet pic of your dad.....

Really enjoyed that Neil Young piece - sang along and all. Ironic that in this video piece he is so young as he today like me is getting old.
Thanks as always for your thoughtfulness.

California Girl said...

A sensitive post; beautifully expressed.

The photo of your father caught my eye immediately and I thought you'd captured a wonderful image of someone enjoying their wine. To know it's one of the last photos of your father, looking sooo happy, this is a blessed pic. I wish I had one of my dad looking jovial in his old age.

I appreciate the quotes you posted too. I'm a "do not go gentle into this aging thingie" person. I haven't learned to appreciate the aging process other than to know I'm more relaxed about life in general. The sweetest of your quotes if your own, btw.

Speaking of which, I get the forty & fifty quote by Hugo. What's sixty?

ArtSparker said...

Speaking of which, Neil Young is one of those guys who looks like a throwback to java man - now that is old, man.

Angella Lister said...

Such a wonderful photo of your dad. Such life and joy in his expression. I am so moved by this post.

i have been thinking a lot about aging, and how to do it gracefully, as your dad clearly did.

love to you, dear friend.

Betty C. said...

What a beautiful -- and your dad looks like someone I would have wanted to meet. I would be tempted to add "he looked more like 75 than 88!" but your post made me think about the implications of that kind of comment. What's wrong with looking 88, and what does that even mean?

Daisy said...

I love that picture of your dad, kimy. What sparkle!

It's quite amazing how "old" moves as I age! Right now, it's somewhere around 90!

e said...

Now I know where you get your sparkle and verve, from your Dad. Lovely post and Heschel is right on.

Megan said...

Whew, made it! And now I must run away again and send that Frost quote to my pop.

Great, great photo of yours.

Baino said...

Ha well my knees are giving me a hard time so guess I'm aging not so gracefully. Love the shot of your dad and yes, growing older is indeed a priviledge. My husband never got the chance to age. So I'm not complaining.

Alan Burnett said...

You can't halt the inevitable progression towards old age : but you can stand firm against the loss of youth. Sounds like - and looks like - your father did

maggie's garden said...

Your dad looks so full of life in this photo...he has a distinct glimmer in his eyes.
Your post on old is my favorite by far! You've touched on something so true. Old people in the US don't get a lot of other countries I hear this is different...but not sure really...only hearsay. I'd like to hope it's true. I myself love old people...and found through the years I seemed to make good friends with older people and loved their wisdom and ability to live life with full abandon. It gave me something to aspire to. Nice post...really enjoyed this one.