Monday, March 22, 2010

Wise Women by Joyce Tenneson

I've had this book on my list of books to read for awhile now, and finally got the chance today.
As the book jacket says, "Wise Women is a celebration of the power and beauty of women in the third phase of their lives." The author traveled throughout America to photograph and interview the women in this book, whose ages range from 65-100. These women were eager to show what it means to be an "elder" in this new millennium. Instead of being the frail stereotype of aging that our society has promoted in the past, these black and white portraits show women who are vital, energetic, and beautiful; inside and out. Some of the photographs are of celebrities, but most are of ordinary women who could be our mothers and grandmothers or even ourselves. Many confided that they have never been happier or more in touch with their deeper powers. I don't think you can pick up this book and read these women's stories and think the same way about aging.

Here's an example of some of the wisdom contained within these covers, from Polly Kline, age 97: "I still don't dye my hair. My advice is follow your conscience. I've had several lives. I'm not the same person I was at twenty, forty, or even sixty. Now I'm a role model for women in their seventies and eighties! When you're this old you can reconsider your whole life. You can relive your life and understand it with a pleasure and perception not available when you first experienced it. People are extremely nice to me now, because I am no longer a threat to them."

From Elva Azzara, 93: "I can still remember what it feels like to love with all my heart."

You know, many of us fear growing older. We think it is a time of degeneration when physical and mental abilities are in sharp decline. We fail to recognize the energy, vitality, and yes wisdom, that is possible in later years. This book should help us dispel some of the negative attitudes we have about aging and is full of magic moments of revelation. It is truly a celebration of the courage, wit, strength, and beauty of these extraordinary women.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...