The Gospel Truth

50 Shades of Grey Hair | February 7, 2013

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.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic romance by British author E. L. James.

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.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt.jpg

A great attention getter

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.

File:Marathon Barcelona Catalunya 2007.jpg

Must pace oneself

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.

It is the endogenous and hereditary process of accumulative changes to molecular and cellular structure disruptingmetabolism with the passage of time, resulting in deterioration and death.

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.

Prepared for his senescence

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.

Hall remarried…badly.

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.

Color in their souls

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.

Has not lost her color

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.

Aging is very complex

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.

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5 Comments »

  1. Aging is Everything. Just like Whiskey in the wood, the Older, the Better….Who would want to miss this continuing creation?

    Comment by Jim — February 7, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  2. Bill, I think you’re wrong, because – because – ah, what were we talking about?

    Comment by John — February 8, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  3. Dear BB, My age is 87 and 1/2+. I am drinking the new health discovery and have thrown away my walker and dashing about the house doing things I have not been able to do for the last few years. It is a discovery that God has allowed us in these years of not getting the nutrients our body needs from contaminated food.
    Give it a try for 90 days and stop focusing on old age and death. I am at least 20 years younger. Pax

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — February 8, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

  4. Too much of what is known and thought about aging was generated in times when our lives were meaner and shorter. So much more is known now about how to stave off the ravages of age or at least how to moderate them! It’s possible now for many people to enjoy the benefits of a long life of experience used as a tool to examine the rash/brash judgments and “leaps” made in younger years for any gaping flaws in their validity… Many of my youthful “leaps” are now falling by the wayside as I examine them from the top of one heck of a big pile of seemingly unrelated facts which have this annoying habit of becoming related as I sit atop them in reflective contemplation longer and longer. It’s said that Thomas Jefferson once wrote to some correspondent that he thought jewsus had done very well considering that he never was able to achieve the state of maturity which he ( Jefferson ) and his accomplished correspondent had achieved. So the idea I’m presenting here is by no means a new one. As posted by Mary there are new discoveries regarding what we may eat which can help us maintain vitality and mental acuity far longer than we might have expected in our younger years. We should avail ourselves of these things and also indulge in vigorous exercise to whatever extent we are able and take our place as the new middle-aged. Personally I find that “elderly” people who have been well-nourished and exercised seem to suffer less from “senescence” than a certain society which shall remain nameless clotted with the toxic misconceptions formed in the youth of it’s citizens…

    Comment by James Stenzel — February 14, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  5. Wonderful post! We are linking to this great
    article on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    Comment by Louis Vuitton Handbags — July 8, 2014 @ 2:41 am


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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