At two different times in my life, beautiful friends have given me copies of the book, Wise Women, and each time I was so happy. I wish I had one for every room in the house, just to snap me in line when pessimism about aging threatens perfectly good and happy days. The creator of this book is Joyce Tenneson who is a
national treasure of a photographer, renowned and celebrated all over the world. “I always photograph in the hope that the divine will show up and bless the work,” Ms Tenneson has written and I think that’s exactly what has happened in this book which features both celebrities and everyday women in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 100’s.
“As I photographed these women,” Ms Tennison writes in the intro, ” I often felt that I was looking into the secret center of their being. Most were no longer interested in hiding behind a mask.” And yet there is humor and optimism; she describes being struck by their “courage to play.” I could go on and on, but let’s let the photos and the words of these women speak for themselves. Please keep in mind that the images here were just snapped from the book by my cellphone, with Joyce Tennesson’s generous permission. This is just a shadow of the beauty in the book Wise Women.
“The sense of spirituality
that seems to increase as you age is not necessarily religious. As I watch my eight grandchildren grow and actually be there, existing and full of life, I realize that the Holocaust didn’t work .”
“Despite the ongoing destruction of our environment, I still have a strong feeling of hope for all creatures on earth. I have used the wisdom I have gained from studying the chimpanzee for forty years and I now travel three hundred days a year in order to share my message with the world. I couldn’t have done that when I was younger. ”
JANE GOODALL, 67
I always tell my young friends that sex keeps getting better. After dealing with all of life’s trials and tribulations for so many years you just realize that there must be a higher power. Once you realize this, you can let life unfold. You get to the place where you say, I’m not going to worry anymore, I’ve done that long enough.”
“If you’re good to people, they will be good to you.” ANGILITA MARTINEZ, 90
“Mother Earth is a great example for us all because she nourishes without discrimination. CONSTANCE MIRABEL, 74
As we age, we
have a chance to reinvent ourselves…Arthritis took me away from painting, now I design clothes. As we age our connection to our deeper womb powers increases and we are often blessed with new gifts of magic.
INGERBORG TEN HAEFF, 78
One of the many many reasons I wish my Mom was still alive is that I could send her a copy of Wise Women for Christmas. But I’m sure it’s in the library where she is. For the rest of us, this book makes a wonderful holiday gift for any woman who may be a little skiddish about embracing ageing. (And who isn’t at some point on any given day?) Wise Women is available in hardback or paper on Amazon, B&N and other booksellers.