a new book by Nina Englander
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I watched the movie, “Amy”, the other night. It’s a sad and poignant film about Amy Winehouse, a uniquely talented young woman who had a troubled life of addiction. The movie was important, as it showed Amy – on her catapult to celebrity – as a human being with foibles and weaknesses, and how destructive fame can be to those who do not have the constitution for it.

The profound moment for me came in a scene with Tony Bennett, veteran crooner and – who knew? – philosopher, when he said to the camera, “Life teaches us how to live it – if you are lucky to live long enough.”

On the eve of turning 50, I cannot say how strongly this resonated with me. When I think of the things that used to bother me, the way I used to think, even last week, I can see the teacher of time – showing me more wisdom every day.

People are always complaining about getting older. There are entire industries dedicated to stopping the march of time. But we seldom hear a celebrity talk about the greatest gift of aging; wisdom.

My mother will be celebrating her 80th birthday this year. She is one of those rare birds who, despite the aches and pains and troubles of being almost 80 (and there are many), appreciates that many of her ‘people’ were not lucky enough to live to be almost 80. And here she is. Life has taught her how to live it – and she is grateful to be here.