Book/Video Review

Old Age: A Journey into Simplicity
By Helen M. Luke
Review by Monica Appleby

Helen Luke wrote her first book at age 60. She writes from the experience of life in several "fields" - literature, psychology and religion. Peter Brook the writer and theater director says, " ...she has deeply lived what she now writes." At age 60 she had settled with a few women friends in rural Michigan named the Apple Farm Community. Since that time in the 1960's about 40 people have settled there or nearby and many more have stayed for a time to "get in touch with inner life lived out in a supportive community."

For Helen, "growing into old age" is entering a new time in one's life and if moved into consciously will lead to completion and wholeness. In her book Old Age, she draws on the writing of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare and T.S. Elliot. She uses her appreciation of story-telling as the way to talk about deep truths. "If you want to die a true death it will come out of a true life lived with a final vision of what is divine and material. You can't speak about it except in story."

In this book and in the video portrait of Helen Luke, Sense of the Sacred, I found many threads of connection in my life, and am ready to say, "I am entering old age."

Old Age, Helen M. Luke, A Parabola Book, November 1987, Out of Print
Old Age: Journey into Simplicity
Video version, Available for purchase
Both can be found at your local library.
Note: For those who have many "Helen's" in their life as I do, the name Helen means light.


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