Erica Jong: Fear of Landing

 

by Renata Singer

Quote Erica Jong

Erica Jong has made it a trifecta.

There was Fear of Flying in 1973. Remember the zipless fuck, a phrase that liberated many young women from the idea that sex had to be tied to a meaningful RELATIONSHIP. Everyone I knew read Fear of Flying.   It was well written, laugh out loud funny and HOT. What’s not to like?

Sibylesque Strong Wind

Fear of Fifty, a memoir, came out in 1994. I didn’t read it because of the lukewarm reviews and not being that interested in Erica Jong’s life. I remember interviews where Jong talked about turning 50 and no longer “feeling a babe” and how men’s eyes didn’t swivel her way any more when she entered the room. The mean-spirited Renata thought, “well darls, join the club.”

Hot off the press is Jong’s Fear of Dying – a novel about an aging actress – she’s 60 – Vanessa Wonderman, with dying parents, a husband who can’t get an erection and a daughter about to have her first baby. Vanessa goes to the website zipless.com looking for sexual partners.

In an interview with Linda Wertheimer on NPR, Jong says she wanted to write about sex and old age. “I thought it was essential to do it, because sex follows us throughout our lives. The need for touch, the need for connection, that never goes away. But the forms of it change. As people age, touch is more important, erections are less important. And I think somebody needs to write about that.”

Jong has not lost her sense of mission and that’s a good thing. But what’s the next title going to be: Fear of Purgatory?

……………………………………………………………………………………. Renata SingerRenata Singer is a writer, community activist and educator who divides her time between Melbourne and New York. She co-founded Fitted for Work after working with Bottomless Closet in New York. Among Renata’s publications are The Front of the Family, True Stories from the Land of Divorce and Goodbye and Hello. Her most recent book “Older and Bolder” is reviewed on this blog here.

Photo Source: pinterest, MUP Website.

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How to postpone aging? Get a grip. Really.

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque old age quote 2When does old age begin? Well, traditionally turning 65 years of age marked the beginning of old age. But now Warren Sanderson, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at Stony Brook University, offers a different view point. In an article by Judith Graham, (On New Measurements of Aging, New York Times, 16 SEP 2014) he said ‘We should consider people as old when they near the end of their life: when their remaining life expectancy is 15 years or less.’ Compare two 65 year olds. If one has a life expectancy of, say, 5 years, and the other, 25 years then the first, obviously, is much closer to the end of life stage.

What measure places people in the old age category?

Surprisingly, Prof Sanderson’s research shows that the strength of a person’s handgrip is an accurate indicator of different rates of aging. Data has been collected for 50,000 subjects from the USA, Europe, japan and China.

So GET A GRIP.

Sibylesque Long Life Martini

And one more thing, Prof Sanderson is now looking another indicator of old age: THE TIME IT TAKES TO GET OUT OF A CHAIR.

So you need LIFT OFF. Work on it.

You might also enjoy the article on Aging and the Pelvic Floor here.

Photo source: Huffinton Post

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Aging Passionately

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Florida Scott-Maxwell Quote

Ann Karpf

Ann Karpf

“How to Age’ (The School of Life, 2014) by Anne Karpf takes an analytical and philosophical look at aging. Despite wide spread gerontophobia in our society where age is not just see as a disability, it is despised, Karpf explains that people can age with vitality until their final breath.

And one of the most liberating joys of aging is not caring ‘what others think about you.’

how to ageYou may also like to read about the how geriatric language can age you. At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

Anne Karpf is a writer, sociologist and award-winning journalist. And here she is talking about ‘How to Age’:

Why you should avoid geriatric talk

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I’m not senile… If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.dark red quote 2

…………………………………..Margaret Attwood, The Blind Assassin

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Age makes weary, but words condemn.

senior hippies wrinkleOld age creeps up on us all, but we can stay lively all our lives. Old Age, however, has had a long history of bad press. As a consequence, it is very easy to develop a ‘geriatric’ mindset and start using geriatric language. This is how it works. One day, without realising it, you say ‘I had a fall’ rather than ‘I fell over’, ‘I had a funny turn’ instead of ‘I felt dizzy’ and ‘My mind is going’ or ‘I can’t remember a thing’ in stead of ‘I forgot’.

This is important. Research shows that immersing yourself in ‘debilitating’ language slows you  down. Scientists have actually measured the walking pace of subjects. Young and old. The reverse is also true. Using ‘energetic’ language will speed you up.

What more can I say? Go wild. It’ll do you some good.

Reference: How to Age, Anne Karpf,  The School of Life (2014), p48

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