I have been searching Old Woman and I find her in mySelf Daughters of Copper Woman, Ann Cameron In case you haven’t noticed, I’m beautiful now, beautiful in ways I never was in callow youth ... On fire now with the violet fire of soul speak, treading a lighter path with a brighter spirit. · Sparking pink tourmaline, green jade, amethyst. Blue sapphire flashing through the cloud of my being, shooting stars in a cobalt sky of my heart. I shed the pyrite, lead, hematite, the heavy, the dross. Lost in a whisper of indigo dreams ... like a gray sparrow feather I float through Eternity, a fragile-strong willow-wisp of joy. · In case you haven’t noticed, I am beautiful now, beautiful in the way of all young women in that once-upon-a-time when they were old.
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The latest (3 January) issue of Forbes references a Washington Post op-ed by Prof. Laura L. Carstensen, professor of psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. professor in public policy at Stanford University, on the semiotics of aging started me reflecting about what I want to be called, and what I do not want to be called, now that I am pushing 70. (I will be 69 in April of 2018.) Words matter. And – over time measured in multiple years – certain words / terms have become increasingly patronizing because I have, over that same interval of time, come to think of myself more and more, not as middle-aged, but simply as old. Prof. Carstensen is right: By failing to identify with “old,” the story about old people remains a dreary one about loss and decline. Language matters: We need a
It’s tough when you are orphaned at seventy. I say that without rancor or irony. I’d known Mrs. O’Donall and her daughter for fifteen years, which at the time of this story was the entire length of my life. The ladies - as everyone called them - were fixtures in our parish. Each morning they arrived at St. Anselm's at precisely six-fifty for daily Mass. Their consistency was such that my mom said she "could tell time by them." They generally made their way into church arm-in-arm and always sat in the first pew. While the younger lady was fragile, tentative and wide-eyed, the older one was stern, sturdy and quick-minded. With her daughter in tow, she worked on the Annual Church Carnival Planning Committee and in the Women’s Auxiliary as well, relied upon to help the nuns clean the sac