Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

I suppose if there is a reckoning in middle age, it’s a tragic sense that you have been formed by things, and sent hither and thither by those things, and put in a frenzy and made to run around the place, and up and down the house in the service of those things, and they were not real. They were the product of your upbringing or conditioning or gender or social class. And I think there’s a certain point where suddenly the grip of all of that on you loosens. It’s like a stage set beginning to sort of crumble, and you start to see it wobbling, and I think you can get some really startling and frightening perspectives on identity once you start looking at it from there. The thought that you’ve wasted your entire life in the service of things that didn’t really exist – that you were in a prison where the door, in fact, was open, and you’ve sat there all this time . . .

~ Rachel Cusk, in an interview by Sheila Heti (Paris Review, Art of Fiction No. 246, Spring 2020)


Photo: Rachel Cusk in NY Times

Comments

  1. WOW, now my question is: At what age is the beginning of ‘middle age’ – I just want to know if I was a trendsetter or a late-comer…. because at age 40 I wrote a double invitation to 30 friends each for a brunch and the second group for a BBQ supper and in my then-letter of summing up my life I wrote the contents of above quote….. 🙂
    And of course, I think this is brilliant – since it underlines what I wrote then !

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is brilliant. And of course you were years ahead. I sent you link to rest of interview. Thought you would enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you dear friend. Couldn’t read it as I always had half of it covered up by a cloud sign in and/comment section. But maybe I can sort it out on my laptop w/larger screen. Anyway, I’m very thankful for that extra attention…..
        As for middle age, I believe there are ppl I call “old child” characters. They seemed never have been kids, had views and opinions, questions w/no relation to their age, astonishing observations. And then there are those who still have quite a few moments where they forget that they should be “older and wiser ” and not have their grey heads up in the clouds…. therefore you can be middle-aged at 20 as you can be at 60 or 70. Age is Mind over matter, and if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

        Like

    • Kiki just saying … middle age begins at 50. Enjoy it all.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. this is so incredibly powerful. and true. and mind-blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully expressed! That’s exactly what happens, and if we are lucky enough to see this before we are 80! it’s a wonderful opportunity to change our course and sail into freedom ⛵️⛵️🌈✨🌈

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Man, does THIS resonate! As Karen said, though, the trick is realizing what’s up before it’s too late….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Smiling…
    I was a teenager when this happened. Maybe even younger. Which always surprised me. I’m convinced I’m missing that chip in my brain that accepts the status quo. The ugly duckling? Always.

    Thank you for sending full interview 🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    So very true … ‘The thought that you’ve wasted your entire life in the service of things that didn’t really exist – that you were in a prison where the door, in fact, was open, and you’ve sat there all this time . . . ‘
    Rachel Cusk, in an interview by Sheila Heti (Paris Review, Art of Fiction No. 246, Spring 2020)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I guess I have not reached middle age yet; perhaps due to my general level of immaturity… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. another damn good post

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Realize that life has not been wasted. Waking up to the conditioning opens a new door of awareness and acceptance for what has gone before. At the time, it seems like a waste…. but later (perhaps old age) we know it truly is a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What is SO annoying is that she looks so incredibly good AND has that so hard acquired wisdom…..
    A post to resonate with so many of your middle-aged and older readers. 😉🙊😇

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This one does hit right between the eyes…
    And while it can be frightening, I like to think none of it was wasted per se but that our desire to NOT. Keep doing that “stuff” becomes more and more of a choice that we make

    Like

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