Each day I take up my writing with a new understanding about time. The race is on.
I turned 76 a while ago, not an auspicious number, but as I observed then, still a milestone. Having left the “Third Chapter” of my life — that period between 65-75 when one is retired, healthy and with enough peace of mind to contribute good sense to the world — I find entering the “Fourth Chapter” a bit scary, my health and mental acuity no longer gifts to be taken for granted.
Still, even at my age, there are others to guide me. Herman Wouk is one. At 97, this Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Caine Mutiny, is about to publish his 13th novel, The Lawgiver. He could have rested on his laurels and turned his back on the arduous task of writing, but I understand why he’s continued. At 97 he has more to say than he did when he was 76.
Two older women also serve as role models. Iris Apeil ran her husband’s a hugely successful textile business for many years. At 91, she’s decided to turn her hand to designing fashion accessories. And fashion model, Carmen Dell’Orefice, 80, continues to walk the runways, most recently, for Alberta Ferretti’s 2011 collection.
In an interview for his new book, Herman Wouk was asked how he would like to die. His reply was, “Not much.” I agree. As long as there are hands that touch and eyes that see, let the book of life continue.
(Carmen Dell’Orefice courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com)