Swing dance at our Reception

Swing dance at our Reception
Dancing to Come on Come on: by Mary-Chapin Carpenter:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Melancholy of Aging

"The melancholy that often characterizes aging may have to remain a tonality in everything you do. But, melancholy is not the same as depression. It is a mood and a coloring that doesn't necessarily compete with happiness and vitality. It is more a quality than an affliction, and it has many gifts to offer you.

The melancholy of aging can make you reflective and even occasionally wise, as you advance in years. It can keep you quiet and allow you to slow down in appropriate ways. It can give weight to your thoughts and pronouncements and can allow you to be the advisor or youth, a significant way of offsetting feelings of irrelevance that may come with the breakdown of your physical powers."

~~ Thomas Moore, p. 295, Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals

While listening to my iPod while walking on a treadmill, I thought that I was listening to 'on the go' music, so I was surprised when Thomas Moore began speaking about 'The Dark Night' brought about by aging. Unwittingly, I had started playing 'all the songs' and it randomly began playing one of the chapters of his book in audio format. When I got home, I began reading the chapter that 'the universe' had chosen for me and was surprised by how much it related to some recent feelings.

His encouragement that melancholy doesn't have to negate happiness and vitality was what I needed to hear. He writes about the difference between regret and remorse, how to avoid irrelevancy, and how aging can be an initiation into 'deeper' living. I'm intending to extract some of this for you in the days to come. I'd sure be interested in hearing from any of you in the same stage of living.