I have just handed in an essay – the first one in my life I really enjoyed! Studying at 62 is brilliant! * Why? I have time and headspace. I use my lifetime of English Literature, art galleries and concerts. There is no pressure, so low anxiety. I know why I am doing the MA so I connect myself fully to it.
It is also a surprise. I signed up for Creative Writing in Poetry without thinking it would probably mean writing an essay at some point. I am back in love with cultural theory. I went to the library shelf and picked up all the last books in the row – the ones that came out since I last studied. I have new ideas to talk about with friends – I had a seminar with one on T S Elliot’s Burnt Norton (Four Quartets), another explained Psychogeography in a cafe and a whole dinner party explored Post Modernism.
Then there is my poetry. It is a harvest of my life in imagery. There is nothing more affirming than expressing the richness of life’s experiences. I have focus and direction – my poetry is taking me forward to new appreciations. I am challenging myself and creating new thinking. Now, so much of the dread and humiliation, tied to our schooling in the 60s, has fallen away.
Any negatives? Yes I live with knowing that my brain can no longer encompass the complexity of thoughts it once could. Mind you, that makes writing the structure of an essay easier and simpler. I can only work for so many hours a day before getting tired, so I need to plan my time well – 36 years of work helps me to to do that.
Learning is so important. It is a fundamental part of being human – we need to achieve. My health and mood have improved. This part of my life has a clear purpose. Writing poetry celebrates the wonder and mystery; at this stage of life I can give my full self to it. What a privilege!
*I have this life because I have a work pension.