Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

This excerpt is from Persimmontree, an online magazine devoted to women writers over sixty.

An excerpt from:

The Measure of My Days


Florida Scott-Maxwell

Death feels a friend because it will release us from the deterioration of which we cannot see the end. These thoughts are with us always, and in our hearts we know ignominy as well as dignity. We are people to whom something important is about to happen ...

But we also find that as we age we are more alive than seems likely, convenient, or even bearable. Too often our problem is the fervour of life within us. My dear fellow octogenarians, how are we to carry so much life and what are we to do with it?

When truly old, too frail to use the vigour that pulses in us, and weary, sometimes even scornful of what can seem the pointless activity of mankind, we may sink down to some deeper level and find a new supply of life that amazes us.

All is uncharted and uncertain, we seem to lead the way into the unknown. It can feel as though all our lives we have been caught in absurdly small personalities and circumstances and belief. Our accustomed shell cracks here, cracks there, and that tiresomely rigid person we supposed to be ourselves stretches, expands, and with all inhibitions gone we realize that age is not failure, nor disgrace ... Here we come to a new place of which I knew nothing ...a larger place still, the place of release.

Florida Scott-Maxwell was a playwright, author and psychologist. She was born in Orange Park, Florida, grew up in Pittsburgh, then moved to New York at age 15 to become an actress. In 1910 she married and moved to her husband's native Scotland, where she worked for women's suffrage and as a playwright. The couple divorced in 1929 and she moved to London. In the 1930s, she studied Jungian psychology under Carl Jung. She died in Exeter, England. Her most famous book is The Measure of My Days (1968).


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