Now, a lot of people are challenged by the fact that a record number of people in their sixties have living parents, and a record number of people in their sixties have kids who may still depend upon them.
Your kids are launched. You love your work but you understand how to place it in the panorama of the rest of your life. There's this line in the book, and when I wrote it I thought yes, that's it - if you think of life as a job, maybe by the time you get to, say, in my case, 60, you've finally gotten good at it.
People who are knowledgeable about poetry sometimes discuss it in that knowing, rather hateful way in which oenophiles talk about wine: robust, delicate, muscular. This has nothing to do with how most of us experience it, the heart coming around the corner and unexpectedly running into the mind. Of all the words that have stuck to the ribs of my soul, poetry has been the most filling.
Reading has always been life unwrapped to me, a way of understanding the world and understanding myself through both the unknown and the everyday. If being a parent consists often of passing along chunks of ourselves to unwitting-often unwilling-recipients, then books are, for me, one of the simplest and most sure-fire ways of doing that.
The unemployment rate among the young in the United States is still very disconcerting, although we all know it's nowhere near as bad as it is in some of the European countries, where in some places it approaches 50 percent.
All things being equal, I would choose a woman over a man in order to even the balance of power, to insinuate a different perspective into the process, to give young women something to shoot for and someone to look up to. But all things are rarely equal.