What does the territory of aging look like in a society that worships youth? When a realization flashes into our consciousness that we are aging, we tend to tighten up with fear. Negative images of our parents, grandparents, and friends loom before us. Anderson counsels us to move from that gripping fear into curiosity, “If we could begin to have enough support to turn toward our questions and feel our curiosity or our interest and begin to let them unfold, who knows what we’d find out? It might be thrilling, it might be scary but whatever it is, we are coming into a new level of engagement with the depth of ourselves and I think that’s one of the key opportunities of this time of life.” As our capacities, beauty, strength, quickness of mind, keen eyesight begin to diminish we must tap into the original radiance that never leaves us. She shares poignant stories about elders, and luminaries such as Maurice Sendak, Dustin Hoffman and Marion Woodman. This is a deeply personal and moving conversation. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
Sherry Ruth Anderson writes and teaches about spiritual development, with a special interest in women’s experience and aging as awakening. Her documentary film A Woman’s Descent to the Sacred was an official entry in the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2011.
She’s the author of:
- The Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women (co-author Patricia Hopkins) (Bantam 1991)
- The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World (co-author Paul Ray) (Crown 2001)
- Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging with Grace (Changemakers Books 2013)
To find out more about the work of Sherry Ruth Anderson go to www.sherryruthanderson.com.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
- How we can be curious and present rather than fearful, when forgetting overtakes us
- How can we “own” the word “diminishment”
- What does it mean to be truly present
- What does presence have to do with deep listening
- How circles and salons help us hear each other into speech
- Why telling the truth has power and leads to laughter
- Why we are more afraid of how we will die than dying itself
- What Dustin Hoffman said about his great disappointment