Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

I don’t have the energy to run around in a leotard and anklets, but I see how old people get used to dust and stickiness, mild filth and mildewed towels. It’s not because they are too blind or weak to do anything about these problems necessarily but because they have just seen too much. When you’ve buried all your closest friends, how worked up can you get about a trace of lipstick on a coffee cup or a ribbon of dust on the frame of the photo of someone you’ll never see again? You’ve buried two wives and two brothers who loved you and left you—how seriously can you take the worn spot (now sort of a hole) at the back of the chair? Perspective is useful, of course: It’s why very few people want to be eighteen again. But the other side is having so much perspective, it’s hard to give a damn about anything happening here in the real.

― Amy Bloom, In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss (Random House, March 8, 2022)


Notes:

Comments

  1. what a piece about perspective

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love her writing, and yet, I can’t bring myself to read her memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s true. When you have experienced enough in life, what can disturb you? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Listened to her interview with Terry Gross on ‘Fresh Air’ the other day. Sat in my car and cried. She’s so eloquent, but man, what a subject….

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/03/08/1084912553/alzheimers-assisted-suicide-amy-bloom-in-love

    Like

  5. There was a reason why I read your blog today. I normally don’t comment, but reading this has started giving me new insights into my own grief. A simple thank you for your post today. (And all your other ones!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is hard to say, “Like”. Her words are piercing especially as I prepare to celebrate the life of a dear friend who passed caring details of my life no one else could ever know (Because he saw times lived out through his eyes). When the time is right I will definitely read this book. Thank you, always, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like how Amy’s world is unraveling … and I hope she embraces the new perspective 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s like a tipping point, once perspective has broadened that much, indignation and excitement are rarely encountered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Claire. Thank you. Your thought reminds me of:

      “My father, who lived to ninety-four, often said that the eighties had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’ too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty. At eighty, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was forty or sixty. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together. I am looking forward to being eighty.”

      – Oliver Sacks, Gratitude

      Like

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