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Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Venerable: accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character.

Vulnerable: susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm and in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect.

As we age, some of us grow wiser, others become hardened, set in their ways. All are

increasingly vunerable to the stresses and pressures of life. I applaud Cozette, who, a former mountain climber, at 94 goes out walking daily, even in the rain. She maintains a refreshingly present attitude, open to all, quite lucid in her thinking. Then there is Gerald, who seems to thrive on Alexander technique and at 87 still manages to write and record music. He composed the score for Three Women, Robert Altman’s 1977 classic. And there is Nancy, who, even at 80 still makes dances no matter what. And of course the inimitable Duane Michals who, at 91, delights us with his wit and clarity of mind.

So many of us succumb to accident, illness, dementia, poverty and other threats to living well. But there is something to learn from those who are still here in spite of everything. We have endured. We found ways to survive if not always thrive. Venerate the old, assist their vulnerability.


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