Posts Tagged ‘old men’

The Pleasures of Age: Who Knew?

March 30, 2009

As one who has from the beginning taken the part of the grasshopper against the ant, I had never given much thought as to what it would be like to be old.  There is a huge literature about it, but in it you might read almost anything, all sorts of conflicting accounts and recommendations. It’s like a chorus of the blind describing not an elephant, but an entire universe. From many reports, the place seems to be filled with tribulation: aches, pains and diseases, loneliness, ungrateful or addicted children, penury, incontinence, loss of independence. Age, Matthew Arnold wrote, is not golden, but cold. Why borrow trouble? Since one would eventually, if one were lucky, see for one’s self what this universe is like, there was little point in speculating about it.

Age actually arrived, of course, as a total surprise. I remember the moment exactly: (more…)