December 30, 2004

A good bath

Doris McCarthy, at ninety-four, only stopped ice skating two years ago. McCarthy is a painter in the Group of Seven landscape tradition, lives in Toronto but spends her summers at her beloved cottage on Georgian Bay. She talks about this in her new memoir, Ninety Years Wise. What was most interesting about Doris McCarthy was the joy she expressed about her work and her life when I heard her this morning (on Sounds Like Canada). When Shelagh Rogers asked her how she felt about aging, Doris said it was wonderful: how wonderful that the fear is gone, how wonderful not to feel so self-conscious, to be able to do things because you wanted to, not because you were expected to. Of course, the weaknesses of the body are not wonderful but the maturity of the mind and spirit is.

And then I had lunch with a young friend who wisely said she thought people misunderstood the Fountain of Youth. It is not something that gives you clear, wrinkleless skin but rather a clear and joyful spirit. Obviously Doris McCarthy bathes in the Fountain of Youth.

Posted by leya at December 30, 2004 07:25 PM