Wisdom on Wednesdays—The Fountain of Youth

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Nursing the Baby, pen and ink on paper

“The great weakness of us Americans as a people consists in the fact that we cannot quite accept maturity, old age, death, or, for that matter, birth, babyhood.  They are not in our imaginative picture of life.  We try to live apart from birth, old age, death.  We die from ‘perpetual youth.’”  (1939)

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2 thoughts on “Wisdom on Wednesdays—The Fountain of Youth

  1. This is so timely as the big pro-life rally approaches. So long ago, your grandfather was addressing abortion and euthanasia. Your picture gives new meaning to the fountain of youth. I love it. -Mora Meluch

    • I like to think of my grandfather as a “realist” in the fullest sense of the word – he took life whole with its sorrows and hardships, and so could fully revel in its joys. One of my favorite quotations from him (from his wonderful essay “Room (with Bath) at the Inn”) expresses it well:

      “It is not at all unusual to hear a newly married couple say that they will avoid children until they have acquired enough capital to support and educate them properly. One rarely gets enough money to support and educate one’s own children properly. Similarly artists are often heard to say that they will do pot-boilers until they have accumulated sufficient money to enable them to paint ‘as they want to.’ Well, they never do. The young couples, like the pseudo-artists, love the neutral sterilities more than they do the positive (or even negative) trials and triumphs of real life. For the comforts of the escaper are not life. They are the techniques, the mechanics of life only.”

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