Monday, April 23, 2012

Learning to Be Old

I recently read the book, "Learning to be Old."  This was written by Margaret Cruikshank, a University of Maine professor.  I really enjoyed her feminist take on aging, on the impact of cultural notions of "rugged individualism" vs collaboration, on the pace of American life, the emphasis on "productivity" as "worthiness" and on the "medical/industrial complex" (including its contribution to disabling conditions by overprescribing and pathologizing legitimate reactions to industrial care).  I thought of the community of San Miguel and the way it offers, especially in the company of women, an opportunity to age in a much happier and healthier way.  It's also just nice to know that there are alternatives to our culturally prescribed "realities."  We can, maybe, to some small degree, self-select and help create our own cultural constructs.

Reading my own poetry tonight, 6 p.m., in the Chapel at SMCC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we think about it, the aged are our most valuable asset yet are treated as "has beens." I attended a party out in the campo the other day with a family close to me for twenty five years. The elderly gentleman (campasino) has been reforesting parts of a mountain for over two years now, and for a water source, dug a seven meter deep pozo . Not bad at almost ninety one! He had his eyesight renewed some ten years ago with a very simple operation to eliminate cateracts. He thought though, before the op that Dios was ready to call him home. Little did he know what lay ahead! -- John Osmond