The Art of Ageing

B2014 BooktheartofageingIt’s nearly Pre-Birthday-Month time so it seems a good time to dive into The Art of Ageing again. It is one of those little gems that has a great deal of common sense. More than anything, the author, John Lane, doesn’t expect miracles though he knows how to turn the realities of life in older age into hope and fun.

Sadly, Lane died in 2012 and that fact alone prompts me to look out for some more of his writings.

My usual habit is to read several books at the same time according to mood or the time of day. Books on ageing and/or self-help fit in with diaries and journals, so they occupy the bed-time spot. I have a stable of writers and books that I read through over and over, occasionally adding the odd new one.  I found the following gem last night and think it is well worth sharing.

Lane is keen to point out that old age is neither all bad nor all good and that we cannot fix this with either positive thought or modern medicine. Being a realist I would far rather accept the not so good as part and parcel of life. What matters is how we cope. We are reminded of this section of William Blake’s, Auguries of Innocence: –

Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.
Joy and Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

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5 Responses to The Art of Ageing

  1. One of my favorite poets, and a vicar too I think. Dianne

  2. friko says:

    One of the problems of modern day living is that we expect instant solutions to all ills. In fact, we feel ‘entitled’ never to have to put up with any woes whatsoever.
    A pill for everything, a counsellor for the rest.

    Sadness and joy, I wouldn’t want to be without either.

  3. Tim says:

    For no apparent reason, it just occurred to me to ask: have you read Michael Mayne’s _Learning to Dance_?

  4. freda says:

    Haven’t come across the book, Tim, though I see it is on Amazon. Would you recommend it or is it strictly for laughs?

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