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There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow. Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Professor
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:38:29 AM

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Daemon wrote:
There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)


Very interesting but depressing. I have always been told that getting old is not for the faint at heart or sissies. But I like to think that getting old has as many positive memories as it has sorrows. Oh by the way, how old is old? It is always seven years older than your age.
D V Sharma
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 8:09:51 AM

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Seems a lot of depression.
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 8:58:06 AM
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Daemon wrote:
There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

In order to move ahead you must think ahead in spite of all the sorrow, sore or bitter end.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 9:15:54 AM

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I feel sure that Edith Wharton was speaking for herself. Her husband developed a mental illness and she chose to look after him herself. Later, her resolve broke and she left him, finally divorcing him. No wonder her latter years were filled with sorrow.
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 9:16:51 AM

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Staying busy and actively involving yourself with people and things you care about helps.
doxallday
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 9:56:13 AM

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Being surrounded by family and/or grandchildren could help.
Christine
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:12:13 AM

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not true
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:21:51 AM

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I imagine you are speaking from personal experience Christine, because you cannot express that sentiment otherwise. So I am sorry you find it so and hope that things look up for you soonest. However, I am bound to say that doxallday only said could help, and I don't think anyone can argue with that.
Absurdicuss
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:31:18 AM

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Jacob,

Was Christine referring to the OP or commenting on dox's post? The answer to that will indicate whether she sees the glass as half full or half empty in this thread.

What say you Christine?

So sad for the Whartons to come to such an end.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:52:48 AM

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Abs,

I have a lousy feeling that Christine was commenting on dox's post, but I will ne happy to know that I am wrong.
Apexcreativity
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:44:40 AM

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where i come from old age is synonymous to wise age not sorrow
mirilli
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:28:52 PM

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I agree with Professor: How old is old?
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 2:29:06 PM
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Daemon wrote:
There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)


There is a slight chance that the quotation was mis-attributed to Edith Wharton. Rather, it may belong to the English novelist Fey Weldon.
Neither will return a successful result by searching on line for the exact quotation. ( Edit)

However, this picture will serve to illustrate both old age and sorrow. http://www.flickr.com/photos/storm_in_your_teacup/3386744351/
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 4:06:54 PM
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Daemon wrote:
There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)


With a little perseverance...one sorts through a lot of conflicting sources.

Fey Weldon may have said it but Edith Wharton wrote it first in:

"A Backward Glance", 1934: Quote from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edith_Wharton

""A FIRST WORD.

Years ago I said to myself: "There's no such thing as old age; there is
only sorrow."


I have learned with the passing of time that this, though true, is not
the whole truth. The other producer of old age is habit: the deathly
process of doing the same thing in the same way at the same hour day
after day, first from carelessness, then from inclination, at last from
cowardice or inertia. Luckily the inconsequent life is not the only
alternative; for caprice is as ruinous as routine. Habit is necessary;
it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that
must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.""

(And for good measure she also wrote:) "In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."" End quote.

KaylaJean
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 4:22:31 PM

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well duh theres such a thing as old age! 100 years old is, well, OLD.
musicalpilgrim
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 5:01:06 PM
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Plato got it just right...
"He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden." Plato (427-346 B.C.)
Yookincalmey Catfish
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 6:01:26 PM

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I'm seeing this differently. If you can learn to stay in the moment and enjoy life than you will never feel the sense of "oldness and impending death" because you aren't fixated on the future. Life isn't the opposite of death-birth is. Its a season in every persons lives and the most delicious part is that when it happens we won't be here afterwards, we are unable to mourn our own death if we are truly living our life because the future is gonna happen. That is the one sure thing in this life, and if you try to predict or plan it; I find I lose that battle about 100% of the time. So projecting the fear and sadness of death is only a story you tell yourself about how awful it will be, its not reality because it hasn't happened yet. Funny how death is so dark to everyone, just as birth is light? sometimes it isn't; whether your death will be darkest is if you sit in before its come your way.
Marguerite
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 7:35:41 PM

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I resonate with Edith Wharton's summation of old age. Life is full of sorrow, but it seems to especially crystalize when we see ourselves as old, unloved, and unwanted..
Absurdicuss
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:05:20 PM

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okay... Catfish,

you wrote:

"If you can learn to stay in the moment and enjoy life than you will never feel the sense of "oldness and impending death"


Though your statement has merit it may not be universally applicable.

For some folks "living in the moment" is a battle against intense chronic pain wherein the only thing to look forward to is the hope that death will bring relief.

Still, the focus of our living hopes, for the sake of sanity must always be for something better ahead.


@Verbie:

(And for good measure she also wrote:) "In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."" End quote.

Her quote here describes to me how severe trials, especially of health, teaches the wise in heart, to refocus and reevaluate, and perhaps learn for the first time the essential ingredients to happiness.
excaelis
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 10:18:54 PM

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Getting old is not for cissies.
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:58:19 PM
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But if there is such a thing as Old Age, it must be dignified, upstanding and unruffled by sorrow.

The title of "A Backward Glance" for Edith Wharton's autobiographical work was acknowledged by her as inspired by Walt Whitman:

"A backward glance o'er travell'd roads." Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman also wrote this about old age, and this quotation has really been mis-attributed to Edith Wharton:

"Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe, old age flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death."

Finally, Walt Whitman's warning to Youth:
"Youth, large, lusty, loving—Youth, full of grace, force, fascination!
Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with equal grace, force, fascination?"
Christine
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 7:43:16 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Abs,

I have a lousy feeling that Christine was commenting on dox's post, but I will ne happy to know that I am wrong.


wrong

I commented on the quote
Christine
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 7:43:53 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I imagine you are speaking from personal experience Christine, because you cannot express that sentiment otherwise. So I am sorry you find it so and hope that things look up for you soonest. However, I am bound to say that doxallday only said could help, and I don't think anyone can argue with that.


I commented on the quote!
Miriam...
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 8:41:06 AM

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I think she is saying that what makes a person feel old is not age, but sorrow.

Miriam...
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 9:06:17 AM

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Verbatim: I love the photo of Whitman, and thank you for the quotes. I am wondering why in the last quote, the line: "Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with equal grace, force, fascination?" why he uses the "may" instead of 'will/shall'? Using the word 'may' suggests that old age 'may or may not' come after you. To my understanding of this line, using the word 'may' means: it is possible to escape old age, but this seems to counter dict the meaning of the poem. Thank you. Miriam.
pedro
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 9:36:06 AM

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There are both optimistic and pessimistic views of old age- take your choice;

“You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
― George Bernard Shaw

“And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.”
― Martin Amis
Absurdicuss
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 10:46:09 AM

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Happily, Christine's optimism became a well known fact @ TFD.


Thanks Pedro, I'll keep to the Shaw quote, and laugh at Amis' keen wit. Beautifully funny.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 11:18:13 AM

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Christine wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
Abs,

I have a lousy feeling that Christine was commenting on dox's post, but I will ne happy to know that I am wrong.


wrong

I commented on the quote


Thank you, Good news then.
Verbatim
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 7:39:47 PM
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Miriam... wrote:
Verbatim: I love the photo of Whitman, and thank you for the quotes. I am wondering why in the last quote, the line: "Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with equal grace, force, fascination?" why he uses the "may" instead of 'will/shall'? Using the word 'may' suggests that old age 'may or may not' come after you. To my understanding of this line, using the word 'may' means: it is possible to escape old age, but this seems to counter dict the meaning of the poem. Thank you. Miriam.


I may be wrong but if you asked for my opinion this may well answer: As you have said, using the verb "may" suggests the possibility,
but I think only in the affirmative as far as the particular line from Whitman is concerned. If it were his intent to introduce doubt with the possibility,
I think he could have at least said "might".

Therefore, I think Whitman meant to, indeed, serve warning to Youth. What he also might have meant was that Old Age may come "with equal grace, force, and fascination"
as the Youth is full of. It would not be the first time when Whitman put something as beautifully said in an ambiguous manner.

And, again, if I might not abuse of your patience, I think that there is something else in the first part of the quotation, where Whitman used
"Youth" twice, which coincidentally may or may not relate to "May" as a noun -- "May, noun:2. The springtime of life; youth". Think

As to the original quotation from Edith Wharton, your comment was, in my opinion, perfect: "I think she is saying that what makes a person feel old is not age, but sorrow."
Thank you for reading the excerpt provided in which Wharton mentioned what else produced Old Age: habitual habits.

FounDit
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 8:12:44 PM

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Coincidentally, I received this in an email just today.


As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself.
I've become my own friend.
I’ve seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they
understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer,
until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I’ll dance with myself to those
wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish
to weep over a lost love, I will.

I’ll walk the beach, in a swim suit that’s stretched over a bulging body,
and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the
pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I’m sometimes forgetful. But there again,
some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I
eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How
can your heart not break, when you lose a loved
one, or when a child suffers, or even when
somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car?

But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and
understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken,
is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of
being imperfect.

Who doesn't want to be this happy when they 're old?
I’m so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray,
and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on
my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before
their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive.

You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself
anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your
question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have
become.

I’m not going to live forever, but while I am still here,
I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.
And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

MAY OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER COME APART, ESPECIALLY WHEN
IT'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART!

Miriam...
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 8:56:04 PM

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Very nice, FounDit. Thank you for sharing it with us.:)
Verbatim
Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 10:09:15 PM
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When you get to old age the question becomes what’s best, to use your mind--and inconvenience someone, or to lose it--conveniently and selectively. Perhaps use it loosely is better. Eh?
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