The Mortality Club

Old People are Works of Art

July 10, 2016

Tags: wrinkles, old face, smiling old woman, loving ourselves

On Facebook, I have a page devoted to my book, The Hourglass: Life as an Aging Mortal. One of the postings has received more than four thousand comments, “likes” and other delightful reactions. The theme of the post is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Beautiful young people are acts of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

I posted the quote with this photograph of a smiling older lady which I found and purchased on a digital photo site. Many people have assumed that it’s my face in the photo. I wish!!! I am stunned by the extraordinarily positive response to the quotation and the photo, and thus wanted to share it with you. I believe if we can think like this, when we look in the mirror, we might just learn to like our physical selves as much as we did when we were younger. If we are to live rich and full lives when we are older, it is important that we learn to love ourselves, warts and wrinkles and all. It shouldn’t be hard if we give up the notion that only the young are beautiful. (more…)

Selected Works

Psychology/Aging and Dying
In youth we are invincible. The world is forever: we are forever. But, sentient creatures that we are, time inevitably plays its part. Aging and illness shadow those early sensibilities until one day we feel the lurking presence of death itself. Fearful of our own dark thoughts, too often we keep such anxieties to ourselves. To deny our own mortality is a parlor game of sorts, played within our own heads and frequently played alone. Pamela Cuming will have none of it. In her latest book, The Hourglass, she throws back the parlor curtains and lets the light stream in. This is a powerful, objective, unflinching, and yet profoundly empathic work that explores the rewards of honest caring⎯the privilege and the pain⎯not only for one’s friends and family but also for one’s self. Drawing upon an uncanny intuitive understanding of human foible plus a broad knowledge of character development, honed from decades of consulting in the business world, this is a book filled with personal stories both engaging and instructive. In short, The Hourglass is a must read for all those who seek to live life to the full, from start to finish. ________________ Peter C. Whybrow MD, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Beavior at UCLA and award-winning author of The Well-Tuned Brain: Neuroscience and the Life Well Lived.
Fiction: Publication Date Nov 14, 2014
Set in New York City and Los Angeles between August 1999 and November 2001, The Stranger Box is the story of a mother and a daughter caught like two white dwarf stars in separate orbits, destined to collide. Though she does everything in her considerable power to insure the child never finds out who she is, the vain and self-obsessed Katherine Blair is unable to change the course of her destiny or evade Eden, the resourceful daughter whose pursuit is fueled by the desire for revenge and the determination to steal the family that has been denied her.
Memoir
Widow’s Walk is a bold, brave, and candid admission of bereavement, weakness, and, ultimately, strength.
Nonfiction
A strategic guide to organizational and personal effectiveness
Turf is a direct, and sometimes disturbing book about the use and abuse of power in organizations.

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