“this is the best time in my life. i love being old.”“why is it good to be old?” i answered spontaneously and a little on the defensive, for i sensed incredulity in the questioner, “because i am more myself than i have ever been. there is less conflict. i am happier, more balanced, and more powerful.”
these words were written by may sarton in her book at seventy. she was responding to an audience member who attended a reading of the book.
at 70 she felt “more” herself than ever. it took seven decades to find that place of self-knowing, of self-love in which it is possible to feel at home. this is the place of Self united with self. this is the connection to our inner strength, the awareness of our inner wholeness.
sarton also tells us that she felt happier and more balanced than she had before 70. she had had a fortunate childhood, found love with other women and had her share of heartbreak along with all that comes with being a sensitive, well-known writer. and it took 70 years of life experience to find her inner happiness and balance.
most telling, i think, is her acknowledgment of her power. culturally, we regard olders as weak, frail, ill, useless...anything but powerful. yet she found her elder power at 70. she found her vibrant, clear and thought-provoking power at an age when most are relegated to the background.
what is it that sparks that power? as a writer, may sarton was used to looking inward where she found her poetry and prose. she was used to observing the cycles of nature in her garden and in the challenging landscape of her adopted home. she was used to recording what she saw and felt and experienced. she was used to refining her words in order to evoke their power so that the reader could feel her or his power.
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she has given us remarkable gifts...at 70.