a publication of the sexuality and aging consortium at widener university

Lighter with Age — by May Sarton

The following piece is an excerpt (adapted) Op-Ed piece written by poet and novelist May Sarton for the NY Times in 1978.  Sarton died in 1995.

Love, we still think, many of us, is for the young. But what do they really know about it? It is hard for them to differentiate between sexual passion and love itself, for instance.
If the whole of life is a journey toward old age, then I believe it is also a journey toward love. And love may be as intense in old age as it was in youth, only it is different, set in a wider arc, and the more precious because the time we have to enjoy it is bound to be brief.

Old age is not a fixed point, any more than sunrise or sunset or the ocean tide. At every instant the psyche is in flux:“And like a newborn spirit did he pass/Through the green evening quiet in the sun,” as Keats put it.  On the edge of old age myself, I sense we may be “newborn spirits” at any moment, if we have courage. Old age is not an illness, it is a timeless ascent. As power diminishes, we grow toward more light.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Design by Hoverboard Media