Sunday, March 12, 2006
  Will you still love me when I'm sixty four?
Not long ago a friend of mine and I went to a local senior citizens center for a crafts class. As it turned out it was more of a needlework circle, and as my friend doesn't knit, or crochet or tat, we ended up playing a game of scrabble.

What struck me most was the vibrant personalities of the men and women at the center -- one was clearly bold and outspoken. Her hair was impeccably styled, and she wore a bright sweater. She had an stately manner, sitting tall as she flipped through the pattern books. You could tell she approached life with a can-do attitude, and that she had an opinion on everything.

Another was quiet, almost mousy, but she was hard at work, her hands deftly weaving the threads as she tatted doilies. She had several finished ones with her, and when my friend asked, "Do you sell them?" She answered, "Oh, no. They're for love gifts." You could tell she was a loyal friend, and a sweet, generous soul.

So often old people are thought of as decrepit, boring, doing nothing, and interested in little beyond their own illnesses. Yes, I overheard some talk about doctor's visits that afternoon, but most of it focused on other things -- family, friends, projects.

I wish more people visited the senior center -- and not just old people. It would help us remember old people are just people who've lived a bit longer than the rest of us, just as unique and as interesting, if not more so for having had more experiences, than we are.

When I was a girl, my scout trip paid regular visits to a nursing home, and that was good. I grew to be comfortable around people who needed help in their daily life. But it was a skewed view of what it means to grow old. And it's a view that by and large permeates popular culture. Yes, we need to address the issues that can confront us as we age, but we also need to be aware of the joys of being an older person as well.
I think you need to change that to "Will you still love me when I am Eighty-Four!" A lot of new retirees are very energized and full of intellectual and physical vigor but often rigidity sets in sometime in the late seventies or early eighties -- rigidity of mind and body. That becomes a lot less loveable!
Arg, I must be dating myself... the title is, of course, a reference to the totally awesome song by the Beatles...
very nice, my parents recently retired and they now seem busier than ever. as my mom says the museums are a lot less crowded on wednesdays, and they can go when ever where ever. try to have my kids go to their house at least once a week. that is one of the problems to with families scattered kids rarely ever see their grandparents.

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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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