Monday, July 09, 2007

On Aging

Madeleine L'Engle writes in A Circle of Quiet:

" Memory is one of the most essential of the writer's tools, and a writer finds it easy to have total recall, just as other people find it easy to balance a checkbook... But the adolescents today are concerned over a general lack of memory in their parents and teachers, and it is this forgetfulness of what it is like to be twelve, or seventeen, or twenty one, that is largely responsible for the famous generation gap. The young look at the amnesiac over-thirties and say, 'We look at the adults around us, and if that is what it means to be grownup, then we say, No! We don't ever want to be like most of the adults we see.'
So they dress as differently from us as they possibly can; they wear wild hairdos and symbolic jewelery; in a secular world they are crying out for transcendence...
So the challenge I face with children is the redemption of adulthood. We must make it evident that maturity is the fulfillment of childhood and adolescence, not a diminishing; that it is an affirmation of life, not a denial; that it is entering fully into our essential selves."

1 comment:

Beret said...

Sounds like she is equating adulthood with maturity. I couldn't agree more. I don't know many adults who would trade maturity for callowness,but perhaps some who would gladly trade oldness for youngness!