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Rhoda P. Curtis's Blog

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Apr.17.2012
The essence of letting go is learning to dispense with nostalgia.  Our memories change as we age, and it is impossible, anyway, to remember something exactly as it happened.  In fact, no event is the same for any two people, especially as they think they remember it.  I can go to a...
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Feb.17.2012
When I asked a young friend for an image when I said the word "mobility," he said, "wheels." I thought, "What a descriptive image for that word." All around me I see folks zipping around in electric wheelchairs, bicycles pedaled by motor or hand, kids on skateboards or scooters, cars with...
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Jan.18.2012
When people talk about "reinventing oneself" they usually mean reinventing or changing their public persona. During my long life (I will be ninety-four in February), I have changed my public persona many times. Was it really a "reinvention" of myself? No--it was a change in my public...
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Jan.02.2012
New Year's Resolutions are connected to Judeo-Christian concepts of self-improvement and apologies for any wrongdoing over the past year. According to Wikipedia, "A New Year's Resolution is generally a goal someone sets out to accomplish in the coming year." Some examples include resolutions...
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Dec.14.2011
January is the month for new beginnings; December is the month for endings and how we manage the transition between December and January is the subject of this essay. For elders like me, December, not April, is the cruelest month (apologies to T.S. Eliot). Eliot was writing about April, in his...
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Nov.28.2011
There are two support patterns that help to structure our lives--routine and ritual, and they are not the same. Routine means habits that give form to our daily lives--brushing our teeth, changing our underwear, eating at specific times, making appointments. Routine requires discipline, and...
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Nov.08.2011
At a recent meeting with older adults, one of the participants leaned over and asked me, earnestly, "How do you cope with change?" I replied, "It's very difficult." Several possible answers flashed through my mind--a flippant one, "with difficulty"; but I managed too look carefully at this...
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Oct.27.2011
The year was 1968, the place, Berkeley, Telegraph Avenue.  The activists in Berkeley, including me, had petitioned the city of Berkeley to allow the closing of Telegraph Avenue between Bancroft and Dwight Way, an area of about five or six blocks. I was fifty years old, and my son was eleven...
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Oct.18.2011
Humans, as well as other animals, are hard-wired for creativity, but only the human animal engages a process that creates a product.  This means that the nature of the creative process is so basic to all human endeavors that we take it for granted; the way we take our sense of smell and taste...
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Sep.12.2011
Touch is the only one of our five senses that doesn't lose its potency with age. As we grow old, our sense of smell becomes less acute; our sense of taste becomes less discriminating; our acuity of hearing diminishes; our eyesight needs enhancement, but touch does not change. In fact, our need...
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Aug.16.2011
There are two things on my mind at this writing. One is the question of equality in human relationships, and the other is the question of parity. I am questioning the idea of equality when it applies to equality of opportunity for women, and to the idea of equality in human relationships in...
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Jul.29.2011
My young friend, Lila, who just celebrated her 57th birthday, told me that her mother, Elizabeth, was reluctant to see her friends anymore because, as Lila said, "She wanted them to remember her as she used to be." How sad. Elizabeth is only 83, and is quite healthy by my standards. I...
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Jun.24.2011
Here's my blog relating to writers who deal with lesbians.  I'm referring to an excellent writer: Donna Leon--she writes detective stories based in Venice, Italy, and her series featuring a detective named Brunetti are superb.  The other main characters are a lesbian couple--both famous in their...
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Jun.23.2011
I have been thinking about what it means to "age gracefully" and I wonder whose opinion seems to matter. Does the aging person feel "ungraceful"? Or is the person viewing the aging person deciding whether or not the aging person is graceful or not? I decided that it is the...
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May.12.2011
My favorite science fiction writer is Ursula LeGuin, and my favorite of all her books is The Left Hand of Darkness. It's one of her earliest novels on the Earthsea idea, and is captivating from beginning to end. LeGuin doesn't proselytize or preach; she simply presents a wonderful, alternate...
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