Aging 2  

Quotes for
the Journey:


It is not how old you are,
but how you are old.

Marie Dressler

To 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 be over, but part of a stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the remote and unknown future.       -Bertrand Russell


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 it is the glory of the field, and only the frost lays it low.  So there are many people who must live forty or fifty years, and have the crude sap of their natural dispositions changed and sweetened before the blossoming time can come; but their lives have not been wasted.       -Henry Ward Beecher

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.       -Oliver Wendell Holmes

To 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.       -Bonstettin


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


Simplify.  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

One's 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.       -Thomas Arnold


How can 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 when 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 love your age, you'll never go around wishing you were some other age.
-Miss Lucy (qtd. by Arthur Gordon)


I think we exaggerate the flexibility and freshness of young people.  Advanced age can be conducive to conceptual skills that are extraordinarily important.       -Ross Webber

A 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 Maria Child

Old 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.       -Plato

Youth, Day, Old Age and Night

Youth, large, lusty, loving--youth full of grace, force, fascination,
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.

Walt Whitman
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."       -Florida Scott-Maxwell
The 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.

A half century of living should put a good deal into a person's face besides a few wrinkles and some unwelcome folds around the chin.       -Frances Parkinson Keyes


Never think oldish thoughts.  It's oldish
thoughts that make a person old.

James A. Farley

In youth we learn,
in old age we understand.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach


Father 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 them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.       -Charles Dickens


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.       -Sophia Loren

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you 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!"

Robert Browning


Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.       -unattributed


You 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 Gabrielle Colette


To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.       -Bernard M. Baruch

Aging 2   

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.       -Abraham Sutzkever

Age is a question of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.       -Satchel Paige


I 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 then, I've been living in tree time.  It's a fine way to live.       -Sean O'Callahan

Cheerfulness 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

Growing Old

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.

John Masefield


The 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 age" 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.        -Ashley Montague
Age does not depend upon years, but upon temperament and health.  Some people are born old, and some never grow so.       -Tryon Edwards
It takes a long time to become young.         -Pablo Picasso
The 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 hand, 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 morals 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.        -Lin Yutang
The 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 thing.       -Stewart Edward White
When 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 still learning."        -Simone de Beauvoir
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 admirable.  There is an indescribable light of dawn about intensely happy old age. . . . The young person is handsome, but the old, superb.        -Victor Hugo
Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age.  Nothing does--except wrinkles.  It's true, some wines improve with age.  But only if the grapes were good in the first place.        -Abigail van Buren
Parts 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 dispassionate acceptance 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 annoyances are surmountable in an alert and even mirthful appreciation of life itself.        -Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher
Do 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.         -Albert Einstein
I 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.        -Roger S. Mills
Youth is not a time of life--it is a state of mind.  Nobody grows old 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 the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then--and only then--are you grown old.        -Samuel Ullman

Winter 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 song.  I have tried them all, but I feel I have not said a thousandth part of that which is within me.  When I go down to the grave, I can say "I have finished my day's work," but I cannot say "I have finished my life's work."       -Victor Hugo
You’re never too old to become younger.      -Mae West
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.    -George Santayana

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Aging 2  


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