be happy in this world, especially when youth is past, it is necessary
to feel oneself not merely an isolated individual whose day will soon
but part of a stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the
remote and unknown future. -Bertrand
The aster has not wasted spring and summer
because it has not blossomed. It has been all the time preparing for what is to follow, and in autumn
the glory of the field, and only the frost lays it low. So there
people who must live forty or fifty years, and have the crude sap of
natural dispositions changed and sweetened before the blossoming time
come; but their lives have not been wasted.
-Henry Ward Beecher
be seventy years young
is sometimes far more
to be forty years old. -Oliver Wendell Holmes
resist the frigidity of old age,
one must combine the body, the mind, and the heart. And to keep these in parallel vigor one must exercise, study, and love.
If wrinkles must be
written upon our brows, let them not
be written upon the
heart. The spirit should not grow old.
-James A. Garfield
Stop bothering with the non-essentials. Having devoted
my life to my work so far, I should reap the harvest and learn
how to live the rest of it properly. It's time now for
trees and grass and growing things. -unattributed
old 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 men labor under it;
but the morning and
evening should be alike calm and cheerful.
anyone be anything but their age? The trick is to love your age.
Love it when you're young and strong and foolish. Love it
you're old and wise. Love it in the middle when the challenges
come and you can solve some of them, maybe most of them. If you
your age, you'll never go around wishing you were some other age.
-Miss Lucy (qtd. by Arthur Gordon)
I think we exaggerate the
and freshness of young people. Advanced age can be
conducive to conceptual skills
that are extraordinarily important.
comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth.
Instead of its bringing
sad and melancholy prospects of decay,
it would give us hopes of eternal youth
in a better world. -Lydia
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.
Day, Old Age and Night
Youth, large, lusty, loving--youth full of grace, force,
Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal
grace, force, fascination?
Day full-blown and splendid--day of the immense sun,
action, ambition, laughter,
The Night follows close with millions of suns, and sleep
and restoring darkness.
I want to tell
people approaching and perhaps fearing old age
that it is a time of discovery. If they say "Of what?"
I can only answer "We must find out for ourselves,
otherwise it wouldn't be discovery."
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.
century of living should put a good deal into a person's face
a few wrinkles and some unwelcome folds around the chin.
think oldish thoughts. It's oldish
make a person old.
in old age we understand.
Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries
for none of
his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those
who have used him
well; making them old men and women
inexorably enough, but leaving
their hearts and spirits
young and in full vigor. With such people the
gray head is
but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving
his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch
in the quiet calendar
of a well-spent life. -Charles
There is a
fountain of youth; it is your mind, your talents,
the creativity you bring to your life and the lives
of the people you love. When you will learn to tap
this source, you will have truly defeated age.
gives you the face
you have at twenty;
it is up to
merit the face
you have at fifty. -Coco Chanel
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!"
love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age,
but they die
must not pity me because
my sixtieth year finds me still astonished. To be astonished is one of the surest ways
of not growing old too quickly. -Sidonie
me, old age is always
fifteen years older than I am. -Bernard M. Baruch
If you carry
your childhood with
you never become older. -Abraham Sutzkever
Age is a
question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
planted a maple tree next to the first house I owned, just a skinny
runt of a thing. . . .
It seemed far off in the future before that tree would amount to
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 man. This was the first time
I ever really believed
that the world will go on just fine when I'm gone. . . . Ever since
I've been living in tree time. It's a fine way to live.
and content are great beautifiers,
and are famous
preservers of youthful looks. -Charles Dickens
Old people are
always young enough
to learn, with profit. -Aeschylus
Let me grow lovely, growing old--
So many fine things to do;
Laces and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new;
And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old?
Karle Wilson Baker
On Growing Old
Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying,
My dog and I are old, too old for roving,
Man, whose passion sets the spindrift flying
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving.
I take the book and gather to the fire,
Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute,
The clock ticks to my heart; a withered wire
Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet.
I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander
Your cornland, nor your hill-land nor your valleys,
Ever again, nor share the battle yonder
Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies.
Only stay quiet while my mind remembers
The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.
Beauty, have pity, for the strong have power,
The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace,
Summer of man its sunlight and its flower,
Spring time of man all April in a face.
Only, as in the jostling in the Strand,
Where the mob thrusts or loiters or is loud
The beggar with the saucer in his hand
Asks only a penny from the passing crowd,
So, from this glittering world with all its fashion,
Its fire and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion,
Bread to the soul, rain where the summers parch.
Give me but these, and though the darkness close,
Even the night will blossom as the rose.
whole of life is a journey toward youthful
old age, toward self-contemplation, love,
gaiety, and, in a fundamental sense, the most
gratifying time of our lives. . . . "Old
should be a harvest time when the riches
of life are reaped and enjoyed, while it
continues to be a special period for
self-development and expansion.
does not depend upon years, but upon
temperament and health. Some people
are born old, and some never grow so.
takes a long time
to become young.
span of life vouchsafed us, three-score and ten, is short
enough, if the spirit
gets too haughty and wants to live forever; but on the other
it is also long enough, if the spirit is a little humble. .
. . Anyone who is wise
and has lived long enough to witness the changes of fashion
and politics through the rise and fall of three generations
should be perfectly
content to rise from his or her seat and go away saying
"It was a good show" when the curtain falls.
thing you are ripening toward is the fruit of your
life. It will make you bright inside, no
matter what you are outside. It is a shining
Goya was 80 he drew an ancient man propped on two
sticks, with a great mass of white hair and beard
all over his face, and the inscription, "I am
What remains to me of strength becomes more
precious for what is lost. I have lost one ear,
but was never so alive to sweet sounds as now. My
sight is so far impaired that the brightness
in which nature was revealed to me in my youth is dimmed,
but I never looked on nature
with such pure joy as now. My limbs soon tire, but I
never felt it such a privilege to move
about in the open air, under the sky in sight of the
infinity of creation, as at this moment. I almost think that my simple food, eaten by rule, was never
relished so well. I am grateful
then for my earthly tabernacle, though it does creak and
shake not a little.
-William Ellery Channing
When grace combines with wrinkles, it is
There is an indescribable light of dawn about intensely
happy old age. . . . The young person is handsome,
but the old, superb.
doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing
It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if
the grapes were good in the first place.
of the aging process are scary, of course, but the more we
know about them,
the less they need be. That is why I wish we were more
deliberate, in our early years,
to prepare for this condition. It would leave a lot of
us freed to enjoy the obvious
rewards of being old. . . . What is important is that our
of attrition be matched by a full use of everything that has
ever happened in all
the long wonderful-ghastly years to free a person's mind
from his or her body. . .
to use the experience, both great and evil, so that physical
surmountable in an alert and even mirthful appreciation of
life itself. -Mary
Frances Kennedy Fisher
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.
intend to go on with my life by living it, not by
buying into some notion that I no longer have the
potential to 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.
is not a time of life--it is a state of mind. Nobody
by merely living a number of years; people grow old by
deserting their ideals.
Years may wrinkle your skin, but to give up enthusiasm
wrinkles your soul.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubts; as
young as your
self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope,
as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart there is a recording
chamber; so long as it
receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage--so
long are you young.
When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with
of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then--and only
then--are you grown old.
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."
never too old to become younger.
Never have I enjoyed youth so
thoroughly as I have in my old age. In writing
Dialogues in Limbo, The Last Puritan, and now
all these descriptions of the friends of my youth
and the young friends of my middle age, I have drunk
the pleasure of life more pure, more joyful, than it
ever was when mingled with all the hidden anxieties
and little annoyances of actual living.
Nothing is inherently and invincibly young except
spirit. And spirit can enter a human being
perhaps better in the quiet of old age and dwell
there more undisturbed than in the turmoil of
adventure. But it must be in solitude. I
do not need or desire to hobnob artificially with
other old men in order to revisit them in their
salad days, and to renew my own. In Rome, in
the eternal city, I feel nearer to my own past, and
to the whole past and future of the world, than I
should in any cemetery or in any museum of
relics. Old places and old persons in their
turn, when spirit dwells in them, have an intrinsic
vitality of which youth is incapable; precisely the
balance and wisdom that comes from long perspectives
and broad foundations. Everything shines then
for the spirit by its own light in its own place and
time; but not as it shone in its own restless
eyes. For in its own eyes each person and each
place was the centre of a universe full of
threatening and tempting things; but old age, having
less intensity at the centre has more clearness at
the circumference, and knows that just because
spirit, at each point, is a private centre for all
things, no one point, no one phase of spirit is
materially a public centre for all the rest.
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