Literature is littered with observations about Ageing. The Learned and Ordinary Mortals all go through the same non-discriminatory process and, not surprisingly, all have something to say about it.
Recently, a friend, David Whittem, visited me here in Antara and then travelled back to Canberra. He observed: “ ….no way I’m ever doing 30+ hours or straight travel again, I’m taking breaks along the way, this getting older is a pest and I never used to even get jet lag”.
David knows not but with “getting older is a pest”, he has joined a pantheon of quotable quotes on Ageing because of its very Australian flavour. It is an original and can be contrasted with some other notable sayings.
I recall Golda Meir cooking in her kitchen for a murder of crowing diplomats greedy for ‘insides’, saying, “Old age is like flying through a storm: once you're aboard there's nothing you can do”. Bette Davis, with whom I fell in love as a teen, observed: "Old age is no place for sissies." And then the quintessential Frenchman Charles de Gaulle described old age as "a shipwreck". American writer Philip Roth, a man of words and thirsting pleasure-full moments said: "Old age isn't a battle, it's a massacre."
Another muse of mine (and countless other hormone-charged teens), Marilyn Monroe, an unrecognized intellectual, mused "it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you'd never complete your life, would you? You'd never wholly know you." Ironically, she died at 36.
And then, Leon Trotsky whose thoughts we Kremlinogists trawled: The Russian revolutionary labelled old age as "the most unexpected of all things".
And now we have Whittem’s very Australian “getting older is a pest”.