Created: 
10/09/13

Having a studio in building continually visited by the public continues to push me to find new avenues of verbal expression about my work. It it imperative that my responses to peoples queries be genuine, that I am able to decide how much information any given individual might actually want, and thus reply accordingly. This has, over time, led to a lot of soul searching and research some scholarly, other more anecdotal. 

It has been apparent to me for some time that much of my work is a response to, or an expression of, the effect of aging on sexuality or maybe sexuality on aging. Recently I read  a book entitled On Women Turning 60 by Cathleen Rountree (Harmony Books, NewYork, 1997). Below are a number of quotes that struck me as particularly true about myself as a person, an artist, and a woman over 65. 

I hope you find them as interesting as I did, feel free to let me know what you think.

 

 

Mary Travers Page 21

Here on the east coast there is an acceptance that age is a natural process. This attitude is more European. There’s the appreciation that an old tree is a good tree, is an interesting tree, same for old houses, lichen on stones- there’s a sense of history.

 

Ursula K Le Guin  Page 57

Loss of fertility dies not mean loss of desire and fulfillment. But it does entail a change, a change involving matters even more important – if I may venture a heresy- than sex.

 

The woman who is willing to make that change must first become pregnant with herself, at last.

         “The Space Crone”

         from Dancing at the Edge of the World

 

page 65

Being an artist is doing something, making something, or trying to be ready to make something. On this subject there are several metaphors valuable to me. One is Gary Snyder’s idea of composting; that’s what the introvert artists does with experience; take it in and grow something different from it. The idea of the reproduction of reality doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m not a mirror.

 

 

 

Terry Sendgraff

Page 70

Filling up and spilling over…That’s what I feel is happening for me in my sixties. For the first time I feel my age, I feel appropriate. I don’t think that has to do with being sixty or with aging so much as accepting where I am, and that feels full. Full and present, and what could feel better?

 

 

Rachel Rosenthal

Page 140

I think androgyny is a state that society pushes us women into as we grow older. Women are not supposed to be sexual after a certain point, and certainly older people are not supposed to be sexual at all- women or men. This is a cultural thing, a societal thing. I haven’t stopped having sexual feelings just because I’m older. Not at all. I’m celibate out of choice, but not because I’ve stopped having sexual feelings. You don’t. Your body is still just as interested and just as responsive, possibly more so and probably more savy as you grow older.

 

The androgyny comes from the fact that what we associate beauty and sexuality us youthfulness, smooth skin. As an older woman you’re no longer an object of sexual attraction, yet I know and I’ve heard of women in their eighties and nineties having passionate affairs or getting married.

 

Virginia R Harris- quilt Artist

Page 213

Professional careers as chemist and organizational consultant, photographer in the 70s, writer of two novels in the 80s. Made her first quilt square in 1991.

“ She felt she had ‘come home’ and viewed quilt making as a metaphor for life” that changed how she”relates to the world”.

Page 216-17

I never know what the quilt is going to look like when it is complete. That’s part of the fun and also the tension. The first block I made with a particular patterm I got depressed when I started sewing piece one to piece two. I finally understood what the depression was about. I wanted to know what the entire quilt was going to look like from the very beginning.

  220

I don’t have a fantasy about aging. Aging is one of the most foreign things ever presented to me. I cannot visualize myself as an eighty yer old woman. I cannot visualize myself as a sixty year old woman………

What am I going to spend the next twenty years doing? Maybe I’ll be making quilts, maybe I won’t.

One of the gifts of age is learning not to worry about the future. IF you sre too concerned about tomorrow you never live today.

Quilting is a metaphor for life. In every quilt I make I learn something about myself.  I learn things like where I am hesitant to take a step. I learn where I hide. I learn all the places and things that we set up to make life look like something that it’s not.

Menopause affected my sex drive for a long time. Celibacy is so easy. I my thirties and fourties I felt guilty about being celibate. I would go out and find a man, sleep with him, and be totally frustrated. Why did I do that? Because I was supposed to want it.