I will do anything to attract my readers’ attention.
My title is a play–thanks to Rush’s show where I heard it–on the immensely popular, dirty book that has sold like wildflowers for the past few years.
Set largely in Seattle, it is the first instalment in a trilogy that traces the deepening relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.
It is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism.
Been there–done all that!!!
What a great come-on to a post about the thrills of getting old.
This a is a subject that has drawn my attention for the last years.
Getting old can be anologized to having a home filled with wonderful technological devices that do just about everything for you.
But slowly but surely they start breaking down on you and you have to call a repairman…you can get one to fix it.
The trouble is that the medical repairman will never be able to “fix” anything, that is restore it to its youthful ability to function.
He can prescribe glasses, a hearing aid, a walker,and pills for just about everything that won’t work.
You be able to see, hear, walk and do other things but not quite as well.
Participating in any kind of sports, more active than checkers might be risky for your health and even your life.
Sprinting of any kind is verboten.
Remember life is a marathon…not a 100 yard dash.
And have you ever seen what marathon men look like after they finish?
There is even a name for this process of playing the back nine or maybe just the last few holes–it is called senescence.
In English it means–and is from the Latin senex–which simply means getting old.
This word dates back to 1695, which makes it an old word.
In her book, Mansion of Happiness, Jill Lapore tells the story of Granville Stanley Hall.
Hall was a pioneering psychologist and educator, who became the first president of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
In his earlier academic career, Hall had been one of the first sex-educators in American history and prided himself on his vitality.
He a while Hall dedicated himself to the sex-instruction part of academia.
His first wife and daughter had been asphyxiated in an accident involving the gas heater that was not properly lighted.
His second wife grew fat, said he beat her and eventually had to be institutionalized.
Hall aged more than a decade in a few short years.
For the first time, the social scientist who had written widely about adolescence, realized he had grown old.
He was 45.
He did this with regret because to him adolescents were effervescent, and plastic.
They have color in their souls, brilliant, livid and loud.
He revered it as the time in our lives when we are most capable of making a leap, and bringing civilization along with us, to the next stage.
So he dedicated his remaining years to studying his own decline.
To him the transformation of old age from a stage of life into a disease was a longtime coming.
The modern medical treatment of aging as a disease and death as something to be conquered, began in earnest during the first decade of the 20th century.
Hall began his study of old age by studying himself clinically,.
He reported in 1917 that early senescence was not so bad and just might be more interesting to study than adolescence.
He didn’t publish much on his new subject until 1921 when Atlantic magazine published his Old Age.
He had just retired from the university at the age of 77.
After an initial phase of depression, Hall recovered quickly and wrote his autobiography that had pulled together everything he could think of about the aging process since he was 45.
The result was Senescence: The Last Half of Life was published in 1922.
His object in writing the book had alway been to know more about this stage of his life, find out its status, estimate its powers, its limitations, its physical and mental regimen.
Hall also took a physical inventory of his limbs, his acuity and so forth.
He chronicled every debility of old age, along with its treatment.
He visited doctors only to conclude that he should be my own doctor.
This he followed the next year with his The Life and Confessions of a Psychologist.
He studied tha lives of Napoleon, who lost Waterloo at 45 and Dickens, who had written his best material before 40 and concluded that adolescent was definitely more productive.
He especially wanted to look death…calmly in the face.
Surprisingly when he did die until 1924, they found that he had hidden away a miser’s fortune in every bank in Massachusetts.
I think Hall did prove one thing to me.
Old age cannot be just studied.
It has to be lived because every moment if precious, especially when your biological clock is ticking.
His life, especially the period of his senescence, brings a tear to my eye.
There is no science of old age, just like there is no science of history.
One cannot put human beings in a test tube and shake them up and expect to learn something.
The human condition is highly complex and multi-demsional.
My senescence may not be the golden years I had heard about but I have been more productive and more aware if my own existence.
A good friend recently told me that her Ukrainian mother had told her that age was just a number but it is what comes along with the number that is important.
Sure nothing works the way I would like.
That is just the price you have to pay for breathing in the air, seeing with a mature eye the beauty of nature…a garden…a an ocean shore and maybe a pretty one or two.
It is well worth enduring the things that go along with my rising number.