Composing A Further Life

Composing A Further Life

The Age of Active Wisdom

Book - 2010 | First edition.
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From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, "Adulthood II," created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources--of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an "improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn," and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women--herself included--who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversations are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who explores the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual cÅ the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents each of us--at any age--with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. At the same time, it speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit. "We live longer," she says, "but we think shorter." As adults find themselves entering Adulthood II, making the choices that will affirm and complete the meaning of the lives they have lived, they can play a key role, contributing their perspectives and their experience of adapting to change. In our day, wisdom is no longer associated with withdrawal and passivity but with engagement with others and the contribution that Bateson calls "active wisdom."
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780307266439
Branch Call Number: 920.72 BAT
Characteristics: x, 258 pages ;,22 cm


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Jul 20, 2011

One of the most important books I know that addresses the issue of longevity and what we do with the additional years (that improved health care, better nutrition, taking better care of ourselves in general and many other factors) most of us now have when we are vital, healthy, active and have a lot to offer to our families, our community and even our world. Adulthood II, as Bateson calls it, is a whole new stage in human development. It is a stage that both we, who are in it, and the society around us needs to learn about and become much more knowledgeable about. Composing a Further Life is a good first step.

Jan 16, 2011

After waiting several months for this book - what a disappointment! Not well written, lots of very obvious 'insights' and distracting stories from the author's life (like the time she met Marlin Brando as a teenager...). The folks Bateson interviews for this book might be interesting, but not in the way presented: I said, he said, I said, I thought, I said and etc.

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