By Mary Catherine Bateson
Composing an extra lifestyles Bateson sees getting older this present day as an "improvisational artwork shape calling for mind's eye and willingness to learn," and during this ardent, maintaining research, she relates the reports of guys and women--herself included--who, upon coming into this moment maturity, have discovered new which means and new how one can give a contribution, composing their lives in new styles. complete description
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Similarly, as parents, we can find ways to make our children aware that they are contributing members of the household and that the chores they are asked to do are tokens of trust and are received with thanks. From their birth on, we depend on our children for the joy and meaning they give to life, even though we are paying the bills. We could do the same with our parents and grandparents. As people grow older, some of the ways they have contributed in the past may no longer be possible, but the challenge to society is not only to provide help and care where these are needed but also to offer the opportunity to contribute and care for others.
These different approaches should not be contrasted so much as examined for common values and overlapping themes as we move into the new space opened up in our lives. I like to think of men and women as artists of their own lives, working with what comes to hand through accident or talent to compose and re-compose a pattern in time that expresses who they are and what they believe in—making meaning even as they are studying and working and raising children, creating and re-creating themselves. Just as the use of a new room in a house depends on what is already there in the lives and relationships and possessions of the owners, the use of a new stage in the life cycle is related to what came before, ideally related in a way that is more than a sum of parts but rather an inclusive composition of grace and truth.
And, as always, it has been read carefully in various stages of draft by my husband, J. Barkev Kassarjian, and my daughter, Sevanne Kassarjian. Prologue WHEN I COULD WALK NO FURTHER, I simply collapsed. My previous image of the desert had been of a sandy waste, level or twisted into undulant dunes, but this was all rock and mountain with a few dry, thorny bushes. Two young men stayed with me while the rest of the group went ahead, and after an hour or so the three of us started up again, with one of them supporting me on either side.