June 12th, 2013

red panda eating bamboo

Ursula K. Le Guin writes about old age

And she writes about it brilliantly, as she writes about so many things.

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2013/06/10/the-diminished-thing/

Excerpt (but this isn't the best part. Go read the whole thing. And definitely read the poem she uses as a frame):
Americans believe strongly in positive thinking. Positive thinking is great. It works best when based on a realistic assessment and acceptance of the actual situation. Positive thinking founded on denial may not be so great. (Like, look at Lance Armstrong.)

Everybody who gets old has to assess their ever-changing but seldom improving situation and make of it what they can. I think most old people accept the fact that they’re old — I’ve never heard anybody over eighty say “I’m not old.” And they make the best of it. As the saying goes: Consider the alternative!

A lot of younger people, seeing the reality of old age as entirely negative, see acceptance of age as negative. Wanting to deal with old people in a positive spirit, they’re led to deny old people their reality.
(via Body Impolitic)

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