[-empyre-] sex death love - on AGEING

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Sep 30 01:37:47 AEST 2019

Hi Miha and thank you!

A couple of points - you contrast older people in positions of power with 
younger people who want to participate in that. And I agree of course. But 
this is not the normative state of the elderly, at least in the U.S. and I 
believe elsewhere. There have been a number of exposures of old age homes, 
'retirement' homes, 'nursing' homes, 'eldercare,' etc. And that is much 
more typical. That is where the horror lies. (A story. My father died in 
2011 at the age of 97; he was active until he was 95. He had nursing care 
at home. The woman embezzled him out of a considerable sum of money and 
goods. When he died, when we went down to the house, we found shit stains 
all over the floor around the bed. In other words, he wasn't cared for 
properly at all; he was robbed, lied, to, basically discarded. At least he 
was home.)

More and more studies have focused on the loneliness of old age; people 
left isolated. I believe that this, more than anything is responsible for 
the deterioration of mental capacity in old age. Without community, one 
has nothing and collapses. (I remember studies of salarymen in Japan years 
ago as another example.)

In the artworld, there are walls; I fight them, uselessly as well, all the 
time. It's a miracle I get to show. I'm a nuisance. It's great there are 
older artists who are sufficiently established that they and their work 
survives and flourishes. But they're the exception. (An example - we had a 
friend in our building, Mark Esper, who died of cancer. He had moved with 
his wife to Staten Island to save money; he had heavy medical expenses. 
His art was brilliant, cybernetic work built from the ground up, a table 
for example with two robots, one of which made a drawing as it moved 
about, the other which erased it. There were sensors which kept them from 
colliding or falling off. Anyway, the last time I spoke to him, he said he 
was in the attic, looking at all his work there, almost in tears on the 
phone, saying that he wanted his work to survive, he didn't want it to all 
disappear. That's the last time I spoke to him.)

I'm so glad so many people are dealing with this issues now! I hope at 
least this discussion - and for that matter all the discussions on empyre 
- will lead to perhaps the smallest change in consciousness, in caring, in 
listening - the list has educated me -

Best, Alan

On Sun, 29 Sep 2019, Miha Colner wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

web http://www.alansondheim.org / cell 347-383-8552
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