Ursula K Le Guin On Old Age

   Ursula K Le Guin   (October 21, 1929 - January 22, 2018)

Ursula K Le Guin (October 21, 1929 - January 22, 2018)

If you eat your sardines and leafy greens and wear SPF 150 and develop your abs and blabs and slabs or whatever they are in order to live a long life, that’s good, and maybe it will work. But the longer a life is, the more of it will be old age.

The leafy greens and the workouts may well help that old age to be healthy, but unfair as it may be, nothing guarantees health to the old. Bodies wear out after a certain amount of mileage despite the most careful maintenance. No matter what you eat and how grand your abs and blabs are, still your bones can let you down, your heart can get tired of its incredible nonstop lifelong athletic performance, and there’s all that wiring and stuff inside that can begin to short-circuit.

I’d like a poster showing two old people with stooped backs and arthritic hands and time-worn faces sitting talking, deep, deep in conversation. And the slogan would be “Old Age Is Not for the Young.”